The Aquatic Animal Alliance (AAA) – of which OIPA is a member association – is thrilled to announce that Bill HB 1153 – Prohibiting Octopus Farming introduced in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in the State of Washington in the United States, has passed the first committee vote with overwhelming support from policymakers and members of the public across the globe. The Bill received 9 yes votes and 2 nays from the committee members. The bill moved forward to be voted on by the committee, after a public hearing that received 657 PRO and 55 CON votes from the public. After the hearing, AAA sent a letter, which was signed by 114 organizations, to make sure the committee became aware of the importance of this issue, and how they could be leaders in the world by banning these farms preemptively (read the letter – Vote in favor of Bill HB 1153_Prohibiting octopus farming)

Even though more steps are required before the bill becomes law, this is a historic moment for the movement to #BanOctopusFarming. During the voting session, policymakers spoke about octopus sentience and intelligence, and this bill being a great opportunity to protect this incredible species. It was also mentioned that this was one of the bills they have worked on where they received more comments from the public, so let’s keep speaking up for octopuses!

UPDATE: FEBRUARY 2024 – The legislative proposal HB 1153 seeking to prohibit octopus farming in Washington State, has achieved a significant milestone by successfully passing the House Floor. This accomplishment is underscored by a robust bipartisan endorsement, with a vote count of 70 yeas, 27 nays, and 1 excused. Several NGOs has actively supported this cause by submitting multiple letters to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee last year, as well as the House Rules Committee this year. As a result, the bill to prohibit octopus farming in Washington State has passed the Senate with a 29-20 vote, now awaiting the Governor’s signature to become law within three weeks.

UPDATE: MARCH 2024 – The bill HB 1153 to prohibit octopus farming in Washington State, has been officially signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee. Washington state’s leadership in banning octopus farming serves as an inspiration for other jurisdictions. Hawai’i and California are currently echoing this precedent with similar bills to prohibit the farming and sale of specific octopus species. Assembly member Steve Bennett introduced AB 3162, the California Oppose Cruelty to Octopuses (OCTO) Act, cosponsored by Animal Legal Defense Fund and Social Compassion in Legislation, while legislators in Hawai’i launched a similar bill, HB 2262. Aquatic Life Institute has already initiated conversations with legislators in additional jurisdictions to begin a similar legislative path as HB 1153.

Octopus farming is unethical and poses significant concerns regarding animal welfare violations, further environmental degradation, and threats to public health.

Thanks to Aquatic Life Institute and all those who keep supporting our joint fight for octopus.

Read more about the campaign and see what you can do