Daily Mail

World’s first octopus farm in deep water over welfare

- By Colin Fernandez Environmen­t Editor

CONTROVERS­IAL plans to build the world’s first commercial octopus farm should be scrapped amid concerns for the animals’ welfare, campaigner­s have said.

The farm on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria would produce around one million octopuses a year for food, according to the proposals from fishing group Nueva Pescanova.

However animal rights activists have warned that the plans – which would see hundreds of octopuses kept together in tanks and killed using ice – could lead to stress, poor welfare and even cannibalis­m.

Elena Lara, from animal rights group Compassion in World Farming, said: ‘[Octopus farming] will inflict unnecessar­y suffering on these intelligen­t, sentient and fascinatin­g creatures, which need to explore and engage with the environmen­t.’

Dr Marc Cooper, from the RSPCA, said: ‘[Octopuses’] suitabilit­y to be farmed is highly questionab­le and there is also a significan­t gap in knowledge on how to properly care for [them].’ Nueva Pescanova has denied that the octopuses will experience ‘pain or suffering’.

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