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Octopus eco-tours and conservation are the focus of this Big Island facility

Kanaloa Octopus Farm at the Natural Energy Laboratory on Hawaiʻi Island.
Catherine Cruz
Kanaloa Octopus Farm at the Natural Energy Laboratory on Hawaiʻi Island.

The first month of life for a species known as the “day” octopus is a bit of a mystery for scientists. At an octopus-rearing facility in Kona, scientists are trying to unlock those secrets.

The Conversation paid a visit to the Kanaloa Octopus Farm to understand its place at the Natural Energy Laboratory on the island of Hawaiʻi. There is a synergy between aquaculture facilities, some of which rear marine creatures for food. But the octopus farm is not one of them.

Instead, eco-tours and conservation science are its focus. Did you know octopus get curious when they hear high pitch sounds? Baby talk has been known to coax them out of their lair. Did you know that an octopus has not one but three hearts?

Dan Jackson, the manager of the octopus farm, says the facility is in the process of rebranding so its name better reflects its research. The company also hopes to expand its facility later this year as the demand for its interactive tours is growing.

More stories from Aquaculture Week on The Conversation:

This interview aired on The Conversation on Jan. 13, 2023. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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