The world’s first closed-lifecycle Octopus farm will start production in the Canary Islands. The highly controversial aquacultured cephalopod meat is estimated to hit shelves in early 2023.
It has caused outrage among scientists and animal activists. Octopuses are reputably one of the most intelligent lifeforms in the ocean and are non-vertebrates compromised entirely of muscle and nerves. Their meat has been sought after for generations by fishing communities all over the globe.
Research carried out by the Parisian newspaper Le Monde implies that they will be slaughtering close to 1 million Octopuses for sale next year due to their harvesting weight of around 3kg per specimen.
The only insight into the conditions of these octopuses is grainy pictures provided by the Pesconova Biomarine Center(PBC), which acts as propaganda and the R&D arm of farm parent company Nuevo Pescanova.
The previous iteration of the worldwide fishing giant went bankrupt in 2013 with $4.2 billion in debts. Their CEO, Manuel Fernández de Sousa, was sentenced to 8 years in prison after illegally selling shares without notice before his companies collapsed.
De Sousa was found guilty of mainly corporate fraud and had to pay a fine of $22 million. In 2016 it was revealed when the International Consortium of Journalists published the Panama Papers that he held an offshore account with Mossack Fonseca.
The company was picked apart and sold off around the world.
Nowadays, it is almost 97% owned by ABANCA, one of Spain’s national banks, betting on the aquaculture industry.
Now that Nueva Pescanova has beaten competitors in Japan by closing the life cycle loop, solving the issue of high paralarvae mortality.
They say their focus is the conservation of existing Octopus and marine life stocks by making the cephalopod more available and lowering the price of Octopus, which will discourage overfishing, claimed on the PBC website.
In my opinion, it is foolish to cause so much anguish and pain to these creatures that can’t even provide enough protein as a chicken breast.
It seems silly to replicate the biological sins of the past with the knowledge we have now.
We should support traditional fishing communities by helping to protect their naturally occurring fish stocks by investing in conservation and breeding programs.