World's first octopus farm sparks ethical debate

STORY: The world's first commercial octopus farm plans to open in 2023

It’s sparked an ethical debate and fear for a local fisherman

who fears he won’t be able to compete with industrial farming


"Big companies just want to look after their bottom line...and they want to toss small companies like us in the bin."

Spanish company Nueva Pescanova is pouring $74 million into the farm

and plans to build it on the island of Gran Canaria

building on decades of research to perfect conditions for industrial-scale breeding

Previous efforts to farm octopus have struggled with high mortality

Nueva Pescanova says optimizing tank conditions has eliminated these issues

But not everyone is convinced

London School of Economics researchers concluded that octopuses are sentient beings

capable of experiencing distress and happiness

and that high-welfare farming would be impossible

Experts say any octopus farming operation would likely be too expensive to be profitable

if it aimed to guarantee high quality of life by approximating natural habitat