6 de octubre de 2022
Dirigida a
Janusz Wojciechowski (Comisario europeo de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural) y 1 otro/a
Firmas: 158.296Próximo objetivo: 200.000
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Por qué es importante esta petición

ES - IT - FR

"Octopuses are amazingly intelligent, capable of solving complex problems, sometimes using tools. Scientists are studying the relationship between colour change and emotions. When I heard that companies in Spain are planning to imprison these sentient and fascinating creatures in “Octopus farms” I was deeply distressed. These farms will be unable to provide the conditions octopuses need and deserve and will inevitably cause a level of suffering that we now know is unacceptable. I do hope you will help us to prevent this development. For ethical reasons, we must act now." Dr. Jane Goodall

The Spanish company Nueva Pescanova plans to open the first commercial intensive octopus farm in Gran Canaria in 2022, to start selling the first octopuses like meat in 2023. They claim that it will represent less fishing pressure on wild octopuses, creating at the same time many job opportunities. The project is still pending approval from the Canary Islands Department of the Environment, although since March 2021 the patent for the cultivation of larvae of the most commercialized species has been approved; the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris).

The company does not want to give details of the conditions for raising octopuses, since it is considered a secret of its business, but the intensive breeding of octopuses in farms, which purpose is to raise the largest number of octopuses (sentient and intelligent beings) in the shortest amount of time, keeping them in tanks, is neither ethically nor environmentally correct. Let 's see why.


  • Octopuses are fascinating animals endowed with a complex nervous system and neural package that makes them extremely intelligent. They are able to use tools and to learn, to solve easy puzzles and problems, as well as cooperating with other species to hunt. 
  • Furthermore, there is scientific evidence that they are capable of feeling pain and suffering, and for their proper development they need space and cognitive stimulation that would not be provided in these facilities. 
  • Researchers at the London School of Economics determined, from a review of 300 scientific studies, that octopuses are sentient beings, and they expressed their conviction that high-welfare exploitation would be impossible – and that, in case of accomplishing it, it would not be economically profitable. 
  • In addition, in the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness, a prestigious group of scientists determined that there is evidence indicating that non-human animals, such as octopuses, possess the neurological substrates of conscious states, along with the ability to exhibit intentional behaviors. 
  • The laws of the European Union that regulate the welfare of “livestock” do not apply to invertebrates, so octopuses are not included: They have no protection under the law, at least not from the point of view of mass farming. On the other hand, the European Directive 2010/63/EU on the breeding of animals for scientific purposes does include cephalopods, quoted verbatim: “In addition to vertebrate animals, (...), cephalopods must also be included in the scope of application of this Directive, as there is evidence of their ability to experience pain, suffering, distress and lasting harm”. If this law takes into account the welfare and the intellectual and sentient capacity of the octopuses, there seems to be no reason against the creation of a law that applies to other areas of their possible breeding, as would be the case of intensive farming as a food product. 


  • Octopus are carnivorous animals and the company will have to resort to fishing for food. They have a conversion ratio of 3:1, which means that the weight of food needed for them to survive is approximately three times the weight of the octopus itself. The amount of fish and crustaceans needed to feed these octopuses would imply the overexploitation of fishing resources and the creation of more fish farms. 
  • It must also be taken into account that the environmental impact of this type of farms is extremely high, with pollution from the use of chemical compounds such as fertilizers, algaecides, antibiotics and disinfectants. These consequences affect not only the area in which the farm is located, but also many other areas, even very distant ones, connected by marine currents. 
  • In addition, the overcrowding that would be involved in this type of aquatic macro-farms could favor the transmission of diseases between individuals. Even if there are antibiotic treatments, this would pose a high risk of seepage into open water.

Although the full consequences of captive octopus farming cannot be determined at this time, with the scientific knowledge we have today, we know that it could be an ethical and environmental disaster

If what we want is to recover octopus populations in their native ecosystems, as the company points out, there are other more ethical and sustainable ways of doing so.

This petition is, therefore, a call to action for the Spanish and European population to ban the breeding of octopuses in farms in Europe, a practice unnecessarily cruel and unsustainable. Let’s prevent the first octopuses from being raised as a food! And thus avoid the environmental and ethical disaster that would result from it. 

Sign up for a European law banning the breeding of octopuses in farms!

For those who wish to learn more about the topics covered in the campaign, all the scientific bibliography is available at the following link.

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Firmas: 158.296Próximo objetivo: 200.000
Apoyar ahora

Destinatarios de la petición

  • Janusz WojciechowskiComisario europeo de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural
  • Luis Planas PuchadesMinistro de de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación