Library:Octopus Factory Farming: A Recipe for Disaster (report)

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Octopus Factory Farming: A Recipe for Disaster (report)

Octopus Factory Farming: A Recipe for Disaster is a report published by Compassion in World Farming International in October 2021, examines the animal welfare and environmental implications of octopus farming, a practice that is being developed in several countries around the world. The report argues that octopus farming is unethical, unsustainable, and unnecessary, and urges the aquaculture industry to stop pursuing this venture.


The report provides the following main points:

  • Octopuses are complex sentient beings, with impressive cognitive abilities and the capacity to suffer. They are highly intelligent, curious, and adaptable animals that can perform sophisticated feats of behaviour, such as camouflage, mimicry, tool use, and social learning.
  • Octopuses are naturally solitary and carnivorous animals that require a high-quality diet and a diverse and stimulating environment. They are not adapted to life in captivity, where they would be exposed to crowded, barren, and stressful conditions that would compromise their welfare and lead to high mortality rates.
  • Octopus farming is environmentally harmful and inefficient. It would rely on fishmeal and fish oil produced from wild-caught fish, which are already overexploited and essential for marine ecosystems and food security. It would also contribute to pollution, habitat degradation, and disease transmission.
  • Octopus farming is not regulated by any legislation that would protect the welfare of these animals. There is no scientifically validated method for the humane slaughter of octopuses, and current methods are likely to cause pain and suffering.
  • Octopus farming is not compatible with the EU’s new Strategic Guidelines for the sustainable development of aquaculture, which encourage the reduction of aquaculture’s reliance on fishmeal and fish oil and the diversification of species that do not need feed.
  • Octopus farming is not necessary for human nutrition or food security. Octopuses are consumed as a luxury item in some markets, and there are plant-based alternatives that can provide similar nutritional benefits.


The report concludes that octopus farming should not be allowed to happen, as it would cause unnecessary suffering and environmental damage. It calls on the aquaculture industry to stop the development of octopus farming altogether and to focus on more sustainable and humane practices. It also urges consumers to avoid eating octopuses and to choose more ethical options.

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