An octopus farm has been accused of offering a “zoo” experience and has been shut down

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The state has ordered a Big Island octopus farm to shut down until it receives the proper permit.

The state Department of Water Resources issued a cease and desist letter Kanaloa Octopus Farm last month and said the company is not allowed to have day-old octopuses under one pound.

It also cannot take them from the West Hawaiian Fisheries Management Area for aquarium purposes.

The DLNR said it received complaints and found that the research center in Kona did not have a permit to process Hawaii Day octopus.

Laura Lee Cascade, with Every Animal Projectthe video was shot last spring at a facility where visitors are allowed to interact with the animals.

Cascade said she visited the farm because she loves octopus.

“I literally saw what looked like a zoo,” Cascada said. “They would invite tourists to come in and basically play with the octopuses.”

He behaved himself investigation the farm and the results of last October were made available to the public.

“What I discovered is that this is actually a green-washing, human-washing operation where the facility captures wild octopuses and puts them in small tanks,” Cascada said.

“And then subjected them to forced breeding experiments, which are always fatal.”

Jake Conroy, owner of Kanaloa Octopus Farm, released the following statement to Hawaii News Now:

“Kanaloa Octopus does not deal with the following regulated animals: day-old octopuses under one pound and any animals caught in West Hawaiian waters.”

But one tour guide was caught on camera saying, “All of our octopuses are wild caught, they’re local from here in Kona waters.”

The guide continued, “We have a gentleman who goes out and catches them for us, and we like them to be whispering octopuses.” They know exactly where they will be and when they will be there.”

Conroy also told HNN that his farm is studying cephalopod reproduction and trying to develop cephalopod breeding technology for future conservation efforts.

But Cascade believes his ideas are wrong.

“Octopuses are such complex creatures that deserve to be protected, and in my opinion, there is no way to raise them humanely,” Cascada said. “And the best response to their overfishing is to reduce their fishing so that they don’t drive octopuses out of our diet and eat human alternatives.”

Conroy said they have voluntarily suspended public education and octopus breeding programs.

They are working with the state to ensure full compliance.

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