The Hidden World of Octopus Cities and Culture
A recently proposed aquaculture octopus farm in the Canary Islands would raise 3,000 tonnes of octopus a year, which means almost 275,000 individual octopuses will be killed annually.
My research examines animal minds and ethics, and to me, the phrase “octopus culture” brings to mind Octopolis and Octlantis, two communities of wild octopuses in Jarvis Bay, Australia.
In Octopolis, numerous octopuses share — and fight over — a few square metres of seabed. In these watery towns, octopuses form dominance hierarchies, and they’ve started developing new behaviours: male octopuses fight over territory and, perhaps, females by throwing debris at one another and boxing.