Octopus farming – to be or not to be?


The world’s first commercial octopus farm – being built in the Canary Islands by Nueva Pescanova – seems to be moving ahead amid a massive public backlash

While its production technology has been tried and tested, Nueva Pescanova’s octopus farming project is at a crossroads, with regulatory approval to get the work started pending. The farm in Spain’s Canary Islands would raise one million octopuses annually for food, equal to roughly 3,000 tonnes. But while octopuses are widely caught in the wild, their intensive farming has long been considered nearly impossible since larvae only eat live food and need a carefully controlled environment. That was until production technology rolled out by Nueva Pescanova in 2018 overcame the issue.

“We are currently working with the fifth generation of octopuses born in our facilities that have reached adulthood – managing to reproduce outside their natural habitat,” Nueva Pescanova’s Carmen Villalonga told WF.

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