Octopus aquaculture

The development of octopus aquaculture , the farming of octopus , is being driven by strong market demands in the Mediterranean and in South American and Asian countries. [1]Octopus live short lives, growing rapidly and maturing early. They typically reach two or three kilograms (high weights for invertebrates). There is little overlap between successive generations. [2]

The supply of octopus has been constrained by overfishing in many key fisheries . [3] The common octopus seems particularly suitable for aquaculture. However, it is currently difficult to culture the early life stages of octopus and maintain high survival rates for their paralarvae . This difficulty is limiting the development of fully closed cycle octopus hatchery systems.


Graph showing the decline in the global catch production (in tons) of the common octopus over recent years ( FAO source [4] )

The aquaculture potential of Several octopus species has-been Investigated in recent years, Including Mayan Octopus , [5] Octopus bimaculoides , [6] Octopus ocellatus , [7] and Octopus mimus . [8]

The common octopus , Octopus vulgaris , appears to be the most serious candidate for aquaculture in terms of its biological and market potential. [9] It has a worldwide distribution in tropical, subtropical and temperate waters. It is a benthic species of the coastal shelf , at depths to 200 m and in various marine habitats . [10] The common octopus is easily adapted to captive conditions and has a rapid growth rate of 5% body weight per day. [9] It also has a high feed conversion rate of 30-60% of ingested food being incorporated into its own weight, [11][12] and a high fecundity of 100,000-500,000 eggs per female. [11]


There is an optimum temperature at which a cold-blooded species of growth, survival and food intake. The common octopus is sensitive to temperature, with an optimum range for commercial growth of 16-21 ° C. [12] Above its optimal thermal range, growth and food intake decrease, and above 23 ° C. [12] A narrow thermal band may mean seasonality in growth due to seasonal variations in water temperatures. The incorporation of temperature control mechanisms, such as in the use of closed or onshore farming systems , can reduce seasonal variances in production. [12]


Crustaceans , such as crabs and lobster are important dietary components of both natural and captive populations of octopus. [13] Fish are not as important. Fish-based diets have been shown to increase growth rates and increase conversion rates in captive octopus. This may be because of high lipid levels in fish flesh. [12] Cephalopods , such as octopus and squids , show low lipid digestibility as a result of low lipid requirements. Consequently, a large component of the fish feed will not be taken up. [14] Crustacean diets are likely to result from their high protein relative to lipid levels.[12]

Whether octopus farming is profitable depends on a large part of the supply of crustaceans. [13] Economic profitability can be maximized without significantly compromising biological productivity by incorporating a mix of fish and crustacean-based feed strategies. García García and Cerezo Velverde (2006) found a feeding rate of one of the following: [13]


Commercial aquaculture so far, 750 g. In Spain, thesis juveniles are you purchased from local fishermen and Transferred to offshore floating sea cages . There they are fattened with bycatch (fish, molluscs and crabs) for several months until a commercial size, about 3 kilograms, is reached. However, acquiring juveniles in this way, from the wild, further increases the octopus stocks that are already managed badly, eventually producing cascadesin marine ecosystems. A cost analysis of this practice found that over 40% of total costs went to acquiring the juveniles. The profitability of this approach is low, depending on the supply of sub-adults, a costly and highly variable process. [15]


The bottleneck of the current development of octopus aquaculture is the difficulty of rearing octopus during their early paralarva stage. [16] [17] Paralarva is the name given to the larva of cephalopods. Paralarvae are small, less than 3 millimeters at hatching, with a long planktonic life stage. Current rearing techniques are inadequate, resulting in very high mortality rates. [18] Results vary when octopus paralarvae are fed different combinations of prey. The best results have been made with brine shrimp and other living prey, such as crab zoeae . [1] [16]However, the survival and resolution of the paralarvae is typically low in such studies, highlighting the difficulties in raising octopus paralarvae. Maintaining high survival rates for paralarvae appears to be the main factor limiting the development of a fully closed life cycle octopus hatchery system. [19]

To achieve sustainable and profitable sustainable results, much research has been focused on paralarval rearing. [17] In 2005, scientists from the main research groups in the field, the key factor affecting paralarval mortality is nutrition, making nutritional research the highest priority. [19] There is no reason to believe that the aquacultural rearrangement of octopus will be of great economic potential. [15] Research in these areas is promising. [15]


  1. ^ Jump up to:b Iglesias, J. Otero, JJ, Moxica, C. Fuentes, L. Sánchez, FJ (2004) “The completed life cycle of the octopus ( Octopus vulgaris , Cuvier) under cultivation conditions: paralarval rearing using Artemia and zoeae , and first data on juvenile growth up to 8 months of age ” Aquac. Int. 12 : 481-487.
  2. Jump up^ Boyle, PR, Rodhouse, PG (2005) Cephalopods: Wiley-Blackwellecology and fisheries . ISBN 978-0-632-06048-1.
  3. Jump up^ FAO (2010) The State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2010 . FAO, Rome. Page 41.
  4. Jump up^ Octopus vulgaris FAO: Species Fact Sheets, Rome.
  5. Jump up^ Rosas, C., Cuzon, G., Pascual, C., Gaxiola, G., Chay, Lopez, N., Maldonado, T., Domingues, PM (2007)”Energy balance of Octopus maya fed crab gold an artificial diet ” Marine Biology, 152: 371-381.
  6. Jump up^ Solorzano, Y., Viana, MT, López, L.Mc, Correa, JG, True, CC, Rosas, C. (2009)”Response of newly hatched Octopus bimaculoides fed enrichedArtemia salina : Growth performance, ontogeny of the digestive enzyme and tissue amino acid content ” Aquaculture, 289: 84-90.
  7. Jump up^ Segawa, S., Nomoto, A. (2002)”Laboratory growth, feeding, oxygen consumption and ammonia excretion of octopus ocellatus ” Bulletin of Marine Science, 71: 801-813.
  8. Jump up^ Baltazar, P., Rodriguez, P., Rivera, W., Valdivieso, V. (2000)”Experimental Cultivo of Octopus mimus , Gould 1852 in Perú”Revista Peruana de Biología, 7: 151-160.
  9. ^ Jump up to:b Iglesias J., FJ Sánchez Otero and JJ (1997) “Primeras experiencias sobre el cultivo Integral del pulpo ( Octopus vulgaris , Cuvier) en el Spanish Oceanographic Institute.” In: Costa J., Abellán E., García García B., Ortega A. and Zamora S. (Eds.), VI Congreso Nacional de Acuicultura, Cartagena, Spain, pp. 221-226.
  10. Jump up^ Guerra, A. (1992)”Mollusca: Cephalopoda”In: Ramos, MA, et al. (Eds.)Fauna Iberica, Vol. 1. Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC, Madrid, p. 327.ISBN 84-00-07010-0.
  11. ^ Jump up to:b Mangold, KM (1983) “Octopus vulgaris”. In: Boyle, PR (Ed.), Cephalopod Life Cycles , vol. 1. Academic Press, London, pp. 335-364.
  12. ^ Jump up to:f Aguado, F., García García, B. (2002) “Growth and food intake models in Octopus vulgaris Cuvier / 1797: Influence of body weight, temperature, sex and diet” aquac. Int. 10 : 361-377.
  13. ^ Jump up to:c García García, B. Cerezo Valverde, J. (2006) “Optimal proportions of crabs and fish in diet for common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) ongrowing”Aquaculture , 253 : 502-511.
  14. Jump up^ Lee PG (1994)”Nutrition of cephalopods: Fueling the system”In: Pörtner HO, O’Dor RK and Macmillan DL (eds), Physiology of Cephalopod Molluscs: Lifestyle and Performance Adaptations Gordon & Brench Publishers, Switzerland , pp. 35-51.
  15. ^ Jump up to:c García García, J., Rodriguez Gonzalez, LM, García García, B. (2004) “Cost analysis of octopus ongrowing plant in Galicia” Span. Day. Agr. Res. 2 (4): 521-537.
  16. ^ Jump up to:b Carrasco, JF, Arronte, JC, Rodriguez, C. (2006) “Paralarval rearing of the common octopus, Octopus vulgaris (Cuvier)” Aquac. Res. 37 : 1601-1605.
  17. ^ Jump up to:a Vaz-Pires B , P., Seixas, P., Barbosa, A. (2004) “Aquaculture potential of the common octopus ( Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797): a review”Aquaculture , 238 (1- 4): 221-238.
  18. Jump up^ Moxica, C; F. Linares, J. Otero, J. Iglesias and FJ Sánchez (2002)”Cultivo intensivo de pulpo paralarvas, Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797, in tanques of 9 m3″ Bol. Inst. Esp. Oceanogr. ,18(1-4): 31-36.
  19. ^ Jump up to:b Iglesiasa J .; FJ Sáncheza, JGF Bersanob, JF Carrascoc, J. Dhontd, Fuentesa L., Linarese F., JL Muñozf, Okumurag S., Rooh J., van der Meereni T., EAG Vidalj and Villanuevak R. (2007) “Rearing of Octopus vulgaris paralarvae: Present status, bottlenecks and trends “Aquaculture, 266 (1-4): 1-15.

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