Animal rights activists protest against octopus farming projects in Spain
Animal rights activists gathered in Madrid to protest against plans to build a large-scale octopus farm
MADRID– Animal rights activists gathered in Madrid on Sunday to protest against plans to build an octopus farm in Spain, saying there are no respective laws in the country and in the European Union to guarantee animal welfare in captivity.
The proposed farm, which aims to rear large-scale octopuses in captivity, is set to be built next year in the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean.
A few dozen people have come forward to express their concerns about a project that plans to confine 3 million octopuses to tanks, despite the creatures being solitary predators in their natural habitat.
“It’s like imprisoning tigers together. They will attack each other and also try to escape due to their high intelligence and skill,” said Jaime Posada, spokesperson for the protest called by various animal welfare organizations.
Octopuses raised in captivity will behave differently than those in the wild, said Nova Pescanova, the seafood company that promotes this farm. Since 2018, the company has been carrying out a pilot project in a research center in northern Spain, where it has successfully reproduced five generations of cephalopods born in captivity.
“It is not possible to breed (animal) species in the European Union without respecting their welfare conditions. This is the norm, and our group is only complying with the directives and legislations,” said Roberto Romero, director of aquaculture for the multinational.
Since the demand for octopus consumption is increasing, octopus farming is seen as a first step towards sustainable food production.
Octopus is a staple of the Mediterranean diet, especially popular in Spain and Italy, although both import most of the octopus they consume. Recently, global demand for this delicacy has increased, with countries like the United States seeing a 23% increase in imports and China a 73% increase between 2016 and 2018, according to the United Nations Health Organization. food and agriculture.
This story has been corrected to show the spokesperson’s last name is Posada, not Poasada,