Hawaii & Alaska
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HI - Hawaiʻi loves to eat octopus, but maintaining octopus populations may be a challenge

Octopus, locally called tako or heʻe, is a popular source of protein — but if Hawaiʻi wants to continue to enjoy this chewy seafood, it will have to take care of the ocean ecosystem and monitor the octopus population.

As an island community, Hawaiʻi’s local diet has historically relied on seafood.

Octopus, locally called tako or heʻe, is a popular source of protein — but if Hawaiʻi wants to continue to enjoy this chewy seafood, it will have to take care of the ocean ecosystem and monitor the octopus population.

There are currently no octopus fishing regulations in Hawaiʻi.

An alternative to wild-caught seafood is to farm them through aquaculture. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, half of the world’s fish stocks are farm-raised.

Cheng Sheng Lee, a professor specializing in aquaculture at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, says there needs to be a harmony between wild fishing and aquaculture.

"To meet the seafood demand, you can’t just say 'Let me [have an] abundance of aquaculture,' and then don’t do capture fishing, or vice versa," Lee said.

Aquaculture can also be used to increase a population by raising larval fishes in hatcheries. There is no industry standard method to raise octopuses in captivity. Those in development are not economically viable.

Octopuses have a gourmet palate of crabs and lobsters. They also have specific needs and antisocial behaviors that prevent them from being farm-raised

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