On 27th February 2024, the Washington State Senate passed a Bill to ban Octopus farming. With  29 votes against 20, the Bill will now be sent to Governor Jay Inslee who will hopefully sign it in the next three weeks. The Washington State House of Representatives already passed the Bill on 7th February. House Bill 1153 was sponsored by Democratic Rep. Strom Peterson of Edmonds and passed through the House floor with a vote of 70-27. There are no Octopus farms in the state so this is a preventive measure. 

Rep. Strom Peterson said, “Octopus farming leads to suffering and sickness for one of the more intelligent and feeling animals in our oceans. It can lead to huge environmental and ecological effects as well. Octopus farming is harmful to the animals and the environment and is unnecessary. It’s time to move on.”

The only known octopus farm in the United States was permanently shut down in January. The Kanaloa Octopus Farm (KOF), an octopus zoo which claimed to be a conservation research facility, is no longer operating in any capacity at the Hawaii Ocean Science & Technology Park, and the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) chose not to renew its rental agreement.

In Spain, where a big octopus farm is being built in the Canary Islands, animal protection groups have been protesting. On 21st May 2023, animal rights activists gathered in the Spanish capital Madrid to protest the plans. The company Nueva Pescanova has already submitted plans for this octopus farm to the General Directorate of Fishing of the Government of the Canary Islands, which show they intend to keep octopuses in a facility in the Port of Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, in the Atlantic Ocean near Africa.

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.