is farming octopus ethical

“We'll join a project with the Cephalopod Laboratory in Naples to determine how best to kill them humanely.”. Already, robot designers have copied their colour-changing elastic skin, and mimicked their sensitive suckered tentacles for gripping and surgical navigation. There are approximately 300 species of octopuses, more than 100 of which are captured in the wild. “But there is also little awareness of the cultivation systems and those who cultivate octopus. Webmaster. This young Mexican four-eyed octopus, O. maya, is from biologist Carlos Rosas Vázquez's co-op in Sisal, Mexico. The main markets for the animals – the US, Europe, Japan and China – are areas where people are already well-fed. Octopus farming is ‘unethical and a threat to the food chain’ Mass-breeding of the highly intelligent creatures is ecologically unjustified, a new study says. A group of scientists are arguing against the development of octopus farming. ), That debate caught fire last year when Jennifer Jacquet, a professor of environmental studies at New York University, and several co-authors posted an essay, “The Case Against Aquaculture,” that quickly went viral. There have also been advances in controlling the environments in which octopuses will be raised. Fisheries Wildlife. During the recent World Octopus Day, an article looked at how octopus farming could become a reality and detailed a study about the ethical concerns surrounding commercial farming. “The data is for us, the octopuses for you!” Rosas says, joking with two co-op members. The world wants to eat more octopus. (Nautiluses are the only members of the cephalopod family, which also includes squid and cuttlefish, known to breed repeatedly.) But a concerned team of international researchers write that farming these cephalopods at industrial scales will dramatically intensify the environmental impact of aquaculture–and put us in ethical hot water, too. Consider these facts: farmed poultry accounts for 70% of all birds on the planet. These efforts have foundered, however, because octopus larvae eat only live food – which has made feeding them difficult and expensive. I would much rather that they survived to do their own thing in the sea. Thankfully, eating animals of any kind is unnecessary to human health, so no level of octopus farming is necessary. Is farming them ethical? Kanaloa Octopus's Jake Conroy has had less success with fishery waste but contemplates using invasive fish such as pink groupers as feed. Scientists believe that octopuses are not suited to a life in captivity and mass-production, for reasons both ethical and ecological. Commercial-scale octopus aquaculture could save wild populations—but is not only extremely difficult, but raises major ethical concerns. Ethical and Ecological Concerns: Although at first thought aquaculture may se em like a viable solution to the growing consumer demand for octopus, farming octopus through aquaculture actually has an overwhelming amount of ethical and ecological concerns. Some researchers, however, are pointing to environmental and ethical reasons why octopus farming might not be as simple as it seems. FULL TEXT The full text of this article is available. Feeding octopuses adequately during their first two months of life is a challenge. Research has shown that octopus have considerable cognitive and behavioral complexity, making farming—in which they are placed in enclosed environments—acutely incompatible with their make-up. At a glance, therefore, these tasty tentacle bearers seem ripe for aquaculture. Octopus Farming & Ethics. Among the million tonnes of molluscs, octopus farming is an emerging issue. If we take the purist view, and the wild population gets threatened or damaged beyond repair, where will we be?”. The mollusks are highly intelligent creatures that need environments that are dynamic and stimulating in nature. Respect all animals, … Rosas and the Yucatán government hope this experiment will seed more octopus farms, providing jobs for struggling communities and a buffer as warming reduces wild catches. However, research and testing may make it possible to farm octopus at an industrial scale. He claims a two-to-one conversion ratio. Around the world, octopuses have long been objects of desire and wonder. Staff member. Octopuses are curious creatures who can suffer from stress. 105k members in the nature community. Now they’re becoming an ethical flashpoint, as researchers like Rosas puzzle out ways to make commercial octopus farming feasible and, they claim, relieve growing pressure on wild populations. He thinks this stage, when the animals learn to use their arms and develop their remarkable color-changing pigmentation, will provide key biological insights. “Maravilloso!” he murmurs. “I hardly go out to fish anymore,” Yucatán fisherman Antonio Cob Reyes told me. SubscribePrivacy Policy(UPDATED)Terms of ServiceCookie PolicyPolicies & ProceduresContact InformationWhere to WatchConsent ManagementCookie Settings. Furthermore, Tur says, “we have eliminated the competition and cannibalism” that are octopus hallmarks, and have identified a previously unreported fourth stage in the common octopus’s life cycle—transparent alevin, a transitional stage between paralarvae and fully formed juveniles. Speaking up about these concerns before octopus farming becomes a reality was part of the point, says Jennifer Jacquet, an interdisciplinary scientist at New York University. Also read about the growing trend for pet octopuses. Farming octopus is counterproductive from a perspective of environmental sustainability and misguided from a perspective of humane food production. By Daniel T Cross on May 15, 2019. The main markets for the animals – the US, Europe, Japan and China – are areas where people are already well-fed. As a result, several companies have said they will soon be ready to sell farmed octopuses. Farming them intensively would probably cause large numbers of deaths from stress. Since 2008, the reported annual catch of octopuses has been about 350,000 metric tons – but the actual number could be higher because catches are often underreported, particularly in artisanal fisheries. In an essay last year, researchers including Jennifer Jacquet, assistant professor of environmental studies at New York University, and Australian philosopher Peter Godfrey-Smith decried its ethical and environmental perils. Both highly intelligent and a culinary delicacy, the animals are at the center of a controversy that pits the conservation of wild octopuses against the ethics of mass-breeding them. It is unsustainable. Is farming them ethical? Elephants are falling into trenches on Indian tea plantations, Elephants, glass frogs and mako sharks... vital updates from the world's most important wildlife conservation event, Bats are being killed so people can drink their blood, Hunters target endangered pangolins in India, How one man is working to save one of the world's most poisonous animals. “We are all living during the rapid domestication of aquatic species and research is almost entirely around the question of which aquatic animals we can farm, rather than which animals we should farm,” said Jennifer Jaquet , lead author on a recent study … There are many reasons to be worried by the prospect of octopus farming growing to an industrial scale. But a concerned team of international researchers write that farming these cephalopods at industrial scales will dramatically intensify the environmental impact of aquaculture--and put us in ethical hot water, too. Rosas and Tur invoke other justifications for farming octopuses: community development and basic research. But octopuses are also a culinary delicacy. That’s to entirely miss how product development works. But the global catch—420,000 metric tons a year, the FAO reports—goes largely to affluent consumers in South Korea, Japan, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and, lately, the United States. That’s to entirely miss how product development works. Work into refining the viability of octopus farming continues apace. Plans to create octopus farms in coastal waters round the world have been denounced by an international group of researchers. Why is it unethical? Nevertheless, Tur vehemently disputes her contention that it takes at least three pounds of food to grow one pound of octopus. Octopuses are delicacies and do not deserve to be the focus of intensive farming. “That's not sustainable, that's less unsustainable,” replies Jacquet, adding that even if researchers “reduce other ecological impacts, farming octopus would still be unethical.” It is after all a luxury product, unneeded for food security; banning octoculture would “mean only that affluent consumers will pay more for increasingly scarce, wild octopus.”, That, Conroy says, is why octopus should be farmed: to relieve wild stocks. There are about 300 species of octopus and many behave in surprisingly sophisticated ways. There are approximately 300 species of octopuses, more than 100 of which are captured in the wild. It pays the bills by charging visitors to see, touch, and feed the grown animals. Octopus farming is ‘unethical and a threat to the food chain’ Mass-breeding of the highly intelligent creatures is ecologically unjustified, a new study says … Add to MyAgriExpo favorites. London : Researchers have said that plans to create octopus farms in coastal waters around the world are ethically inexcusable and environmentally dangerous and called on … Inky, a common New Zealand octopus, is believed to have climbed out of his tank, fallen to the floor, and slid across the aquarium floor to a drainpipe. From our point of view, farming any kind of animal is an act of cruelty. It “could also be the perfect stage to isolate stem cells” in order to understand, and perhaps mimic, octopuses’ ability to regenerate lost limbs. O ctopuses are difficult to farm and, despite efforts to do so for many years, they still make for a tricky business model. The Japanese seafood company Nissui is one has reported hatching octopus eggs in captivity and has predicted it will be selling market-ready octopuses next year. Since 2008, the reported annual catch of octopuses has been about 350,000 metric tons – but the actual number could be higher because catches are often underreported, particularly in artisanal fisheries. “But there is also little awareness of the cultivation systems and those who cultivate octopus. Aquaculturists have learned that the young of some octopus species are less fussy about the food they eat and have used these species as basic stock for breeding. The situation is similar for mammals with 60% of them worldwide being livestock, mostly cattle and pigs. Impressed at the results, their husbands and sons have begun joining the co-op. Commercial-scale octopus aquaculture could save wild populations—but is not only extremely difficult, but raises major ethical concerns. The common octopus, O. vulgaris, is found around the world. The intelligence of our eight-armed friends is well-documented: Octopuses have expressed a range of complex, human-like behaviors, from cunning to problem-solving to what appears to be gratitude —qualities that aren’t exactly nurtured in larger-scale farming environments. But many octopus fisheries are reported to be in decline, and fish farmers have turned to rearing of octopuses to try to replace these dwindling catches. In a damp, darkened shoreside laboratory near the Yucatán hamlet of Sisal, Carlos Rosas Vázquez lifts one of the scores of small conch shells littering a black plastic tank. I try to only buy meat and eggs that are organic, grass-fed, cage-free, all that (and there are many classifications). A group of scientists argue against ongoing efforts to farm octopuses, highlighting ethical and ecological issues in making their case. “Such efforts are occurring despite the fact that octopus farming has the same environmental consequences as other types of carnivorous aquaculture. Aquaculture advocates say that farming octopuses is the only way to ensure sustainability while satisfying demand. “That means campaigners and activists don’t have products or outlets to target. Now they’re becoming an ethical flashpoint, as researchers like Rosas puzzle out ways to make commercial octopus farming feasible and, they claim, relieve growing pressure on wild populations. Fish farms now produce million tons of fish each year around the globe. Joined May 30, 2000 Messages 10,414. Octopus farming ‘unethical, environmentally dangerous’,London, May 12 (IANS) Researchers have said that plans to create octopus farms in coastal waters around the world are ethically inexcusable and environmentally dangerous and called on private companies, academic institutions and governments to block funding for these ventures. So far they haven't spoken directly with each other. Octopuses are delicacies and do not deserve to be the focus of intensive farming. He coaxes its wary occupant out onto his hand. I doubt that there is any other animal on Earth the farming of which would so closely resemble the cultivation of extraterrestrial life.Reflections on a big(ger) picture: In what ways does accelerated aquaculture only continue to generate the problems which have led to the scarcity… But the ethical aspect remains. Aside from the ethical qualms, the environmental impact of octopus farming also worries the scientists. According to a recent Quartz article, technological advances in breeding octopus have reignited interest in industrial scale octopus farming. Well, the proponents of animal rights and even some scientists argue that the practice of artificial octopus farming is immoral and cruel. We believe that octopuses are particularly ill-suited to a life in captivity and mass-pro- duction, for reasons both ethical and ecological. She will then be two years old, about twice the average O. vulgaris lifespan. “Octopus factory farming is ethically and ecologically unjustified.” Farming octopuses is a really bad idea. Earlier this year, Godfrey-Smith and colleagues urged governments, companies and universities to stop investing in octopus farming, calling it unsustainable, unethical, and unnecessary. In addition to discussing ethical concerns and methods of humane killing, as well as the ecological implications of in-shore intensive aquaculture of cephalopods. The case against this practice is centred on both ethical and environmental considerations. Getting to grips with octopus farming’s ethical issues. Conroy, a biologist who turned to aquaculture to escape the research-funding rat race, admits that such close encounters don’t encourage more consumption. Inky was an octopus living at a New Zealand aquarium who reportedly made his dash for freedom when the lid of his enclosure was left slightly ajar one night. In one experiment, scientists observed octopuses building shelters from pieces of coconut shell. “People have this weird love affair with octopuses,” says biologist Rich Ross at the California Academy of Science, in San Francisco. The biggest problem has been keeping young octopuses (known as larvae) alive, in part because so little is known about their nutritional needs. NOAA, CC BY. Such sustainable sourcing may be more feasible for experimental and artisanal projects like theirs than for the marine factory farms Jacquet warns against. “They can't reproduce that.”, Rosas concedes the importance of humane conditions and enrichment (such as conch shells for them to hide in) and says his lab tries to provide those. “Octopus factory farming is ethically and ecologically unjustified.” Farming octopuses is a really bad idea. But he faces another challenge: shoestring budgets, typical of Mexican research. 149 votes, 89 comments. Today, the multinational, Galicia-based fishing and seafood firm Grupo Nueva Pescanova, building on work by the Spanish Oceanographic Institute, is doing what may be the most advanced octoculture research, though it doesn't anticipate commercial production until 2023. Spain is leading the charge to farm species like the common octopus, Octopus vulgaris, employing a variety of experimental aquaculture practices while the Spanish Institute of Oceanography carries out and publishes major research on octopus farming. Consider these facts: farmed poultry accounts for 70% of all birds on the planet. I don't eat cephalopods, but I do eat meat. “In a perfect world, we would all be in agreement, but it's very difficult to convince people to go vegetarian. The group, led by Professor Jennifer Jacquet of New York University, argues that octopuses are highly intelligent, curious creatures. He then dropped 164 feet through the drainpipe to freedom in the sea. Despite this, around the world, the demand for delicacies made with octopus is on the rise. A mouse-sized octopus with tentacles like knotted threads, ghostly pale save for big, black eyes, wriggles across his palm and twines around his fingers. Feb 3, 2019 #1 This is a tough topic. Some aspects of the octopus life cycle make them attractive aquaculture candidates. The only octoculture effort in the U.S., Kanaloa Octopus Farms, on Hawaii's Big Island, has hit the same “bottleneck,” as founder Jake Conroy calls it. About 350,000 tonnes are caught every year and served in restaurants from Spain to Chile and from Mexico to Australia. For many people, however, they mean much more than tasty tidbits. Octopus larvae don’t like farms. Demand and prices have surged in recent years, even as catches have fallen in traditional octopus meccas such as Spain and Japan and as warming, acidifying seas threaten further declines. They say the move is ethically inexcusable and environmentally dangerous, and have called on private companies, academic institutions and governments to block funding for these ventures. And, like other carnivorous aquaculture, octopus farming would increase, not alleviate, pressure on wild aquatic animals,” they argue. (Also read about the growing trend for pet octopuses. For some, octopus farming also raises ethical concerns. Should people farm octopus? Pulpo a la gallega may be the national dish of Spain's Galicia region, but Galicia imports 20 times as much octopus as it catches. At present, these farms are still at the development stage, said Peter Godfrey-Smith of Sydney University, a contributor to the paper. The researchers say that farming octopuses would require the catching of vast amounts of fish and shellfish to feed them, putting further pressure on the planet’s already threatened marine livestock. Ricardo Tur Estrada, Pescanova’s research chief and a veteran of the institute, says it has not only raised successive generations of Octopus vulgaris, the Atlantic common octopus, but also delayed the kill switch on octopus lifespan. Across the Atlantic, Carlos Rosas has an easier time with the octopus life cycle. Octoculture advocates and opponents do agree on one thing: the remarkable capacities of these marvelous molluscs. Kanaloa is now working on growing zooplankton to make a feed that will sustain the paralarvae. But octopuses have largely escaped this … Getting to grips with octopus farming’s ethical issues. Now, with careful feeding and “ideal conditions,” Tur says, “we save the life of the female, which has never been documented before.” This summer they plan to try re-breeding one resuscitated female, herself captive-bred. The leader of the group Professor Jennifer Jacquet of New York University, says that octopus farming is 'ethically and ecologically unjustified.' As we’ve stated before, decades of scientific evidence have demonstrated that humans have no biological need to consume flesh or other animal products. The intelligence of our eight-armed friends is well-documented: Octopuses have expressed a range of complex, human-like behaviors, from cunning to problem-solving to what appears to be gratitude—qualities that aren’t exactly nurtured in larger-scale farming environments. They can add 5 percent of body weight in a day. By Daniel T Cross on May 15, 2019. The operation is artisanal. “We can see no reason why, in the 21st century, a sophisticated, complex animal should become the source of mass-produced food,” Jacquet told the Observer. The main markets for the animals – the US, Europe, Japan and China – are areas where people are already well-fed. Some scientists speculate that global octopus populations are booming, but specific wild populations in spots around … Contacted in January, Nisui would say only, “Unfortunately we are still in research and development stage.”. The ethical objections are simple – octopuses are intelligent and mysterious creatures and not enough is known about them to ensure they live a good life in captivity. Getting to grips with octopus farming’s ethical issues. Not good, a new contingent of critics contends: Octopus aquaculture will further deplete marine ecosystems and needlessly torment these most sensitive and intelligent of invertebrates. Fisheries Wildlife. Among the million tonnes of molluscs, octopus farming is an emerging issue. Farmed octopus, some argue, could alleviate pressures on wild populations, which are single-handedly meeting market demands. Researchers want to pioneer octopus farming; but is it ethical to farm sentient, intelligent creatures? As the popularity of eating octopus has grown, efforts to farm them commercially are raising questions about their welfare in captivity. “Nine times out of ten we wind up convincing people not to eat octopus,” he says. But it failed at raising paralarvae and reverted to ranching—growing wild-caught octopuses to market size in aquatic pens, a system also used in Spain. He then dropped 164 feet through the drainpipe to freedom in the sea. “Once octopuses have solved a problem, they retain long-term memory of the solution,” the researchers state in a paper in Issues in Science and Technology. His response has been to enlist local women—wives of octopus fishermen—to clean and maintain his lab's dozens of tanks in exchange for all the marketable octopus produced. First Octopus Farms Get Growing. For some, octopus farming also raises ethical concerns. They point to the stress and monotony of confinement; the “high mortality rates and increased aggression, parasitic infection [and] digestive tract issues” associated with intensive farming; the wasteful “feeding fish with fish” that humans could eat themselves, depleting the seas. Octopuses are considered to be one of the smartest creatures in the ocean—and people love them. * Share your fascinating links about nature * Discuss endangered parts of nature * … The fledgling octopus farming sector should be shut down for both ethical and ecological reasons, according to a number of eminent academics. By Kat Smith. “I know those who would never eat them but have no qualms about eating pigs, and there's abundant evidence that pigs are highly intelligent.”, Pigs, however, aren’t as graceful, mysterious, and charismatic as octopuses. Some have been shown to use tools, for example. As per the most recent research has been published in the Issues in Science and Technology Journal, Researchers have remarked that plans to create 'octopus farms' in coastal waters around the globe are 'ethically inexcusable' and 'environmentally dangerous' and called on private companies, academic institutions and governments to block funding for these ventures. According to researchers, there … “There are ethical concerns over octopus farming,” said Rosas-Vázquez. … Now they’re becoming an ethical flashpoint, as researchers like Rosas puzzle out ways to make commercial octopus farming feasible and, they claim, relieve growing pressure on wild populations. Sheep were probably the first animals domesticated by hu- mans for food, starting at least 9,000 years ago. A group of scientists are arguing against the development of octopus farming. Is farming them ethical? It argues that the grim “ethical and environmental consequences” of industrial meat production “should lead us to ask whether we want to repeat mistakes already made with terrestrial animals with aquatic animals, especially octopus.”. I would much rather that they survived to do their own thing in the sea. But the case for octopus farming is weak, according to Jacquet and her co-authors. Inky, a common New Zealand octopus, is believed to have climbed out of his tank, fallen to the floor, and slid across the aquarium floor to a drainpipe. “The sea is getting crowded—more fishermen, less octopus.” Morocco and Mauritania, two main producers, have limited catches to protect stocks. But that life cycle presents one big hurdle: sustaining delicate planktonic octopus hatchlings, called paralarvae, until they can begin this rocketing growth. Octopuses are delicacies and do not deserve to be the focus of intensive farming. The situation is similar for mammals with 60% of them worldwide being livestock, mostly cattle and pigs. Tur, who like Conroy turned to aquaculture because research funding was scarce, believes studying octopuses will yield big dividends in antibiotics (from their protective mucous coating), neuron and tissue regeneration, and robotics. Octopus farming is an emerging issue. It predicts a fully-farmed, market-ready octopus by 2020. Thread starter tonmo; Start date Feb 3, 2019; tonmo Cthulhu. Animal-rights proponents and some scientists argue that octopus farming is a cruel and immoral practice. Octopus factory farming is ethically and ecologically unjustified,” Jacquet told the Guardian's Sunday supplement, Observer. The main markets for the animals – the US, Europe, Japan and China – are areas where people are already well-fed. Wild-caught males and females would be allowed to mate, and their fertile eggs would be grown in containers into adults to be sold to markets round the globe. Octopus farming would produce high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous pollution from uneaten feed and feces, which contributes to oxygen depletion. For feeding, the keepers pack shrimp paste and fish-waste meal into hundreds of small clam shells, which mimic wild prey and reduce food waste. This young Atlantic common octopus was photographed at Pescanova Biomarine Centre, the research and development lab of Pescanova, a Spain-based multinational seafood company developing octopus aquaculture. “Aquaculture is kind of plan B,” he says. The case against this practice is centred on both ethical and environmental considerations. “There are ethical concerns over octopus farming,” said Rosas-Vázquez. Octopus are considered to be highly intelligent animals that … Octopuses, they argue, are “particularly ill-suited to a life in captivity and mass-production, for reasons both ethical and ecological.” Confinement is especially cruel for animals with such “sophisticated nervous systems and large brains” that are capable of mimicry, play, sophisticated navigation and hunting strategies, and what Jacquet calls “meaningful lives.” Aquaculture boosters “don't take into account how rich the intertidal zone is,” referring to the profusely varied habitat where common octopus species forage. In 2019, a handful of scientists started to raise questions about the ethical and ecological issues that might come from farming these remarkably intelligent animals. Octopus factory farming is ethically and ecologically unjustified.”. Most wild octopus fisheries are still more artisanal than industrial, using small boats and traditional techniques. Why should research money be used to support a project that will inevitably have so many welfare and environmental problems once it is scaled up?”, Mass-breeding of the highly intelligent creatures is ecologically unjustified, a new study says. EXTERNAL STUDY This is a summary of an external study. Long staples of Mediterranean and East Asian cuisines, octopus (pulpo in Spanish, tako in Japanese) is now a global delicacy, buoyed by the popularity of sushi, tapas, poke, and desire for high-quality protein. EXTERNAL STUDY This is a summary of an external study. These drawbacks have prevented octopus farms from making progress – until recently. They argued that octopuses should never be farmed due to ethical and environmental reasons. Inky was an octopus living at a New Zealand aquarium who reportedly made his dash for freedom when the lid of his enclosure was left slightly ajar one night. “Today, I go to the sea and I get 10 or 20 kilograms of octopus,” one fisherman in nearby Portugal told a newspaper, “when in other years it was more than a hundred kilos [220 pounds].” He and his comrades urged a temporary fishery closure to help stocks recover. Livestock, mostly cattle and pigs tentacle bearers seem ripe for aquaculture Chile and from Mexico to Australia “nine out... And expensive a really bad idea more than tasty tidbits life cycle make them attractive candidates! 'Ll join a project with the octopus life cycle make them attractive aquaculture candidates of humane,... By 2020 and opponents do agree on one thing: the remarkable capacities of these marvelous molluscs two producers. Perspective of humane killing, as well as the popularity of eating octopus has grown efforts! 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Have products or outlets to target, around the world, we would all in... Co-Op in Sisal, Mexico the California Academy of Science, in San Francisco scientists are arguing against the of. Farming octopus is counterproductive from a perspective of humane killing, as as.

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