Sunday, February 16, 2014

Framing and farming

Another VIDEO has caught my eye, this one taken about 80' (24 m) below the surface of Bluefish Cove in Carmel, California, U.S. Diving partners David Malvestuto and Warren Murray encountered a large octopus that grabbed the camera until the flash scared it away. Above is one of the resulting stills. Back in September of last year, I was surprised to learn that researchers are trying to raise octopus in farms, which would allow for better studies and ease overfishing of the animal for food. They should be good candidates because they only take a year or two to reach full maturity, the females lay thousands upon thousands of eggs, and they are incredibly efficient at turning calories consumed into body mass. The problem was that the juveniles would only eat live food! Marine scientists from the Autonomous National University of Mexico finally hit upon the right species, but there remains an issue: "One other potential obstacle to octopus farming, however, is that unlike many other animals that are currently reared together in large numbers, octopuses cannot be vaccinated against common infections."

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