The arrival of octopus farms is approaching rapidly. So far, animals have avoided farming, because they are extremely difficult to feed shortly after birth and have a low survival rate. But technological advances and experiments make it possible. The Japanese seafood company hatched octopus eggs in 2017 and expects to see the grown octopus for sale by next year; The Mexican farm is reported to have grown octopus, and farms in Spain and China have also started to do business.
It is not worth celebrating, according to four marine researchers who presented their argument in the winter edition of 2019 Science and Technology. On the one hand, they note that the octopus is mussel, and therefore agriculture increases the pressure on the ecosystem, because farmers must catch a huge amount of wild fish to feed them. Octopus farming "will increase rather than relieve pressure on wild aquatic animals," they write. "Octopus has a conversion rate of at least 3: 1
But there is also a unique problem for octopuses: Incredibly smart. "One study found that the octopus kept knowing how to open a screw jar for at least ninety months," marine researchers say. "They are also able to master complicated aquascapes, make great trips in search of a snack, and also use visual landmarks for navigation."
Agricultural octopuses are likely to mean that they will be stored in small containers with a monotonous life that does not meet their needs for mental stimulation and research. In addition, researchers say, agricultural octopuses are still associated with increased aggressiveness, parasitic infection and high mortality rates. Salmon may be less intelligent than octopuses, but the likelihood that they still enjoy the empty streams and deserve a pleasant lifestyle. This would require considerable efforts to stop the practice of ancient types of agriculture (for example, sheep that began 9000 years ago, say researchers). Before we start octopus farming, at least we have the opportunity to see: is this really the right way to treat another animal?