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Thursday, March 16, 2023

Barbaric humans, cruel killings ! - Octopus farming !!

A Hollywood movie that too James Bond movie – happening in India !!

After fleeing knife-throwing twin assassins Mischka and Grishka in East Berlin, mortally wounded British agent 009, dressed as a circus clown and carrying a counterfeit Fabergé egg, crashes into the British ambassador's residence and dies. MI6 immediately suspects Soviet involvement and, after the genuine Fabergé egg is to be auctioned in London, sends James Bond to identify the seller.  Bond infiltrates a floating palace in Udaipur and meets its owner, Octopussy, a wealthy businesswoman, smuggler and Khan's associate. She also leads the Octopus cult, of which Magda is a member.  

James Bond movie – Octopussy released in 1983 was  the sixth to star Roger Moore as the MI6 agent James Bond. It was directed by John Glen and the screenplay was written by George MacDonald Fraser, Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson.  The film's title was from a short story in Ian Fleming's 1966 short story collection Octopussy and The Living Daylights, although the film's plot is mostly original.  The events of the short story "Octopussy" form part of the title character's background and are recounted by her in the film.

An octopus is a soft-bodied, eight-limbed mollusc of the order Octopoda. The order consists of some 300 species and is grouped within the class Cephalopoda with squids, cuttlefish and more.  Like other cephalopods, an octopus is bilaterally symmetric with two eyes and a beaked mouth at the center point of the eight limbs. The soft body can radically alter its shape, enabling octopuses to squeeze through small gaps. They trail their eight appendages behind them as they swim. The siphon is used both for respiration and for locomotion, by expelling a jet of water. Octopuses have a complex nervous system and excellent sight, and are among the most intelligent and behaviourally diverse of all invertebrates.

Octopuses appear in mythology as sea monsters like the Kraken of Norway and the Akkorokamui of the Ainu, and probably the Gorgon of ancient Greece. A battle with an octopus appears in Victor Hugo's book Toilers of the Sea, inspiring other works such as Ian Fleming's Octopussy.  

Not a post on James Bond or on movies but on a ethical dilemma centering around Octopus.  BBC states of a plan to build  the World’s first Octopus farm, raising deep concerns among Scientists over the welfare of the famously intelligent creatures.

The farm in Spain's Canary Islands would raise about a million octopuses annually for food, according to confidential documents seen by the BBC.  They have never been intensively farmed and some scientists call the proposed icy water slaughtering method "cruel."  The Spanish multinational behind the plans denies the octopuses will suffer.  The confidential planning proposal documents from the company, Nueva Pescanova, were given to the BBC by the campaign organisation Eurogroup for Animals. 

Octopuses caught in the wild using pots, lines and traps are eaten all over the world, including in the Mediterranean and in Asia and Latin America.  The race to discover the secret to breeding them in captivity has been going on for decades. It's difficult as the larvae only eat live food and need a carefully controlled environment, but Nueva Pescanova announced in 2019 that it had made a scientific breakthrough. The prospect of intensively farming octopus has already led to opposition: Lawmakers in the US state of Washington have proposed banning the practice before it even starts.

Nueva Pescanova's plans reveal that the octopuses, which are solitary animals used to the dark, would be kept in tanks with other octopuses, at times under constant light. The creatures - the species octopus vulgaris - would be housed in around 1,000 communal tanks in a two-storey building in the port of Las Palmas in Gran Canaria.They would be killed by being put in containers of water kept at -3C, according to the documents. Man’s cruelty crosses all boundaries when it comes to money making !

Currently there are no welfare rules in place, as octopuses have never been commercially farmed before. However studies have shown that this method of slaughtering fish using 'ice slurry' causes a slow, stressful death. The World Organisation for Animal Health says it "results in poor fish welfare" and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) - the leading farmed seafood certification scheme - is proposing a ban unless fish are stunned beforehand. Some supermarkets have already moved away from selling fish that have been killed using ice, including Tesco and Morrisons. Prof. Peter Tse, a neurologist at Dartmouth University, told the BBC that "to kill them with ice would be a slow death … it would be very cruel and should not be allowed."

Adding that they were "as intelligent as cats" he suggested that a more humane way would be to kill them as many fishermen do, by clubbing them over the head. What a lousy suggestion – killing – death is for sure and you want to term it humane-killing !!  - greed for money, killing in large numbers. More the kill, more the money – how sad. 

The global octopus trade is now estimated to be worth more than £2.2bn.  To supply "premium international markets" including the US, South Korea and Japan, Nueva Pescanova wants to produce 3,000 tonnes of octopus a year. This equates to around one million animals, with some 10-15 octopuses living in each cubic metre of tank, according to campaign group Compassion in World Farming (CiWF), which has studied the plans. 

In a statement to the BBC, Nueva Pescanova said: "The levels of welfare requirements for the production of octopus or any other animal in our farming farms guarantee the correct handling of the animals. The slaughter, likewise, involves proper handling that avoids any pain or suffering to the animal ..." In the wild, octopuses are fiercely territorial agile hunters. Nueva Pescanova is proposing that the farmed animals be fed with industrially produced dry feed, sourced from "discards and by-products" of already-caught fish.  The initial brood of 100 octopuses - 70 males and 30 females - would be taken from a research facility, the Pescanova Biomarine Centre, in Galicia, northern Spain.

Along with the welfare of the octopuses, CiWF has concerns around the wastewater produced by the farm, which would be pumped back into the sea. Octopuses produce nitrogen and phosphates as waste. "  Around 350,000 tonnes of octopus are caught each year - more than 10 times the number caught in 1950 - which is putting pressure on populations. Nueva Pescanova stated that "aquaculture is the solution to ensuring a sustainable yield" and that it would "repopulate the octopus species in the future."  

Barbaric humans !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


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