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IEO researchers of Vigo manage to improve survival and growth of larvae of octopus in captivity. (Photo: Stock File)

IEO manages to breed octopus in captivity and Pescanova will market it

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Thursday, November 08, 2018, 23:30 (GMT + 9)

Researchers from the oceanographic centers of Vigo and Tenerife of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) have managed to breed octopuses in captivity after 20 years of research on the larval farming of the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris).
This fact, which is an international scientific milestone for the IEO, was achieved through the use of new farming and feeding techniques consisting of the growth of larvae with a more profitable and replicable methodology than that used up to now. As for the fattening of juveniles to adults, it has been done for years with specimens caught in the sea.

► Photo: octopus larva at the IEO in Vigo (Photo: IEO)

The common octopus has a short life cycle but with growth potential, which makes it an ideal species for its farming and development in captivity. Currently, it is a highly demanded product in national and international markets and with a lot of commercial interest, which has led to an increase in its fishing and in studies and scientific research to tame this and other species of this cephalopod.

In addition, the octopus is a species of great commercial interest in Spain and the Mediterranean and its demand is increasing in other countries such as the United States. This fact, together with its high price in the market, makes it an excellent candidate for the diversification of aquaculture.

 

Photo: octopus bred in captivity at the IEO in Vigo (Photo IEO)

Octopuses go through different stages in their development: eggs, paralarvae, juveniles and adults. The tests carried out in the IEO, based on this patent, improve the results obtained until now in larval farming and have managed to obtain juveniles with which to start the fattening phase until having adults.

Recently, the IEO and Nueva Pescanova signed a contract whereby this company has a preferential option to license the IEO patent on these investigations.

Photo: packaged fresh octopus made by Pescanova in Galicia to be sold in stores. (Photo: Pescanova)


Both institutions have an interest in closing the commercial captive cycle of the common octopus.

This advance manages to overcome what until now has been considered as the main stumbling block for the commercial farming of this species, also applying a methodology that is more profitable and replicable than that developed so far. Therefore, current efforts are focused on obtaining juveniles and studying their economic viability.

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