Search icon

World Octopus Day: NGOs unite to call for EU ban on cruel octopus factory farming

Press Release Section Icon 10/7/2022

New York, NY (Oct. 7, 2022) – Compassion in World Farming has joined forces with NGOs from all over Europe and beyond to call on the EU to ban the cruel and environmentally damaging practice of octopus farming this World Octopus Day (Oct. 8, 2022).

The group of more than 40 NGOs and experts–including PETA, the Open Born Foundation and the Blue Marine Foundation–have written a joint letter to the European Commission warning that octopuses are ‘profoundly unsuited to farming and there are serious sustainability and animal welfare problems associated with the development of such an industry’. It also points out that allowing this practice would conflict with the EU’s strategy on sustainable food production and calls for a ban on the importation of farmed octopus products.

The move follows announcements by company Nueva Pescanova that it plans to open the world’s first commercial octopus farm in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. These plans sparked worldwide outrage when they were revealed last year.

A powerful report, Octopus Farming – A Recipe for Disaster, produced by Compassion in World Farming, shows how octopuses are highly intelligent and sentient wild animals who would suffer greatly in unnatural factory farm conditions. Solitary in nature, these fascinating animals generally live and hunt on their own. Confining them to underwater tanks would also lead to high-stress levels, which could lead to aggression or even cannibalism.

In addition, the cost of farming octopus to the environment would be high and unsustainable. Octopus are carnivorous animals that need to be fed huge amounts of human edible fish products to be kept alive before their slaughter. In fact, to produce one kilo of octopus meat, three kilos of marine life would be needed as feed, leading to more over-fishing and pressure on other marine environments.

This World Octopus Day, we should be celebrating these incredible wild animals rather than allowing them to be confined in an underwater factory farm. It’s time to end factory farming – not expand it. Octopuses are highly intelligent, sentient beings that feel pain and distress. They should never be forced together in factory farms while other sea life is decimated in order to rear them. The EU must ban the farming of octopuses and other cephalopods to ensure this cruel practice cannot be developed.

Elena Lara, Research Manager at Compassion in World Farming and author of the report


For more information or to schedule an interview, please email

Notes to editors:

Compassion in World Farming was founded in 1967 by a British dairy farmer who became horrified at the development of intensive factory farming. Today Compassion is a global movement dedicated to ending factory farming and achieving humane and sustainable food. With headquarters in the U.K., we have offices across Europe, the U.S., China and South Africa. To find out more about Compassion in World Farming, visit

The full list of NGOs who have signed the letter is as follows:


Compassion in World Farming, and:

  • Animal Justice Project (Global, Barcelona)
  • Animal Save Movement
  • Aquatic Life Institute
  • Blue Marine Foundation
  • Climate Save Movement
  • Ecologistas en Acción
  • Essere Animali
  • Eurogroup for Animals
  • European Vegan Summit
  • Freedom 4 Animals
  • Future Food 4 Climate
  • GhostNetWork
  • Green REV Institute
  • In Defense of Animals USA
  • Interfaith Vegan Collective
  • La Fondation Droit Animal, Ethique et Sciences
  • Lady Free Thinker
  • Menorca Preservation Fund
  • Ocean Born Foundation
  • Ocean Culture Life
  • OneKind
  • PETA Germany
  • Plant Based Treaty
  • Santuario Salvando Peludos
  • Santuario Vacaloura
  • SeaLegacy
  • Sea Shepherd (Global, Portugal, Spain)
  • The Conservation Collective
  • The Humane League UK
  • The Trash Traveler
  • Welfarm
  • World Federation for Animals
  • Jennifer Jacquet, PhD
  • Jonathan Balcombe, PhD, biologist


Ronnika A. McFall, APR

Media Relations Manager
Compassion in World Farming USA


You are using an outdated browser which we do not support. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security.