Do Not Freeze Some of Sea’s Most Intelligent Animals Alive

Target:  Fernando Clavijo Batlle, President of the Canary Islands

Goal: Veto proposal to farm and inhumanely slaughter the octopus by the millions.

Plans are under way for the world’s first commercial octopus farm. Nueva Pescanova, a large fishing conglomerate, will reportedly unveil the facility on the Canary Islands. They claim the animals will be cared for humanely, but biologists and other advocates say nothing could be further from the truth.

For one, these animals that crave darkness will live their lives packed into extremely crowded tanks, where they will very likely have to endure almost constant light shone on them. A current test tank about the size of a small hotel room holds 50 of the animals. The ultimate goal is to kill each octopus and harvest roughly 3,000 tons of meat annually from over a million animals. The method of proposed death is even more controversial, as every animal will seemingly die slowly and likely painfully in freezing-cold water.

The octopus has become a subject of admiration and wonder for scientists who marvel at the animal’s intelligence. Research consistently suggests that an octopus can feel pleasure, pain, and other emotions of a fully sentient being. Now the aquaculture industry wants to raise these animals in deplorable conditions and force them to endure slow-motion torture. If this project becomes a reality, more of the same abuse under the name of conservation will surely follow.

Sign the petition below to join the calls for the Canary Islands’ leaders to stop this ecological outrage at once.


Dear President Clavijo,

Nueva Pescanova is painting a favorable picture of its proposed octopus farm, touting the amount of meat it will produce, the humane nature of the project, and the conservation of the wild octopus that will result. What they are failing to present are the realities warned about by biologists: the aggression from the animals crammed into tiny quarters, the isolation and stress (from the crowded conditions and constant light exposure) these animals will endure, and the agony animals whose intelligence and awareness is long heralded will face as they are seemingly deliberately frozen to death.

And as for the claims that farming these animals will somehow be the salvation for their wild counterparts, years of research suggest the exact opposite outcome: demand—and hunting—will only increase. The octopus and other invertebrates already enjoy almost no legal protections, despite their scientifically validated sentience. You have a choice now with this first-of-its-kind endeavor, and this choice will set a precedent.

Do you want to standardize and spread torture and cruelty against an intelligent and emotional living being to the world, or do you want to be the leaders who say definitively and firmly “this is not us” and “this is not what humanity has become.” Please make the right decision.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Albert Kok

One Comment

  1. This proposal is appalling and completely inhumane. It must definitely be rejected outright. Any type of farmed animal experiences horrific suffering and painful deaths. Leave the oceans and ecosystems alone!

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