Summary


Octopus maya is an endemic species of Yucatán Peninsula (México) and highly appreciated by local fisheries and aquaculture. Though it is already cultured for the complete life cycle in consecutively bred generations and many efforts have been applied to reproductive aspects for farming purpose, wild individuals are still being introduced to improve genetic pools. Unfortunately, little is still known about their natural behaviour and spatial ecology, and there are other additional aspects to be solved from a welfare perspective. For instance, the current farming systems result in high stress for O. maya due to high densities and aggregation, which consequently increases aggression at different life stages. In addition, octopus skin is particularly sensitive and can be easily damaged during handling, transportation or stressful conditions due to confinement. A humane slaughtering protocol is not yet established since the nature and degree of any suffering during current practices are unknown. Octopus appear capable of experiencing pain and suffering, exhibit cognitive complexity and sophisticated behavioural patterns which can be interpreted and serve as indicators of the welfare status.