‘We do not deserve this world’: supermarket criticised over full octopus on sale for 36p

Octopus are highly intelligent creatures which have been observed using tools and solving complex problems

‘We do not deserve this world’: supermarket criticised over full octopus on sale for 36p (Photo: Justin Webb)

A major supermarket chain has been widely criticised for selling a whole octopus at just 36p after a shopper shared an image of the dead sea-creature on Twitter.

Many people have reacted with shock to the image, while the shopper who took the picture said it shows that “we do not deserve this world”.

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At a glance: 5 key points

– Justin Webb, 46, shared an image of a small octopus wrapped in clingfilm which was on sale in the Eccles branch of Sainsburys, priced at 36pm, reduced from £1.41

– The image has been shared and liked thousands of times, with many people expressing shock and anger that a highly intelligent creature could be sold for such a low price

– Originally identified as a ‘baby octopus’ by Webb, Morrisons said the creature shown in the image is an Eledone cirrhosa, which is “the most commonly caught octopus species in Cornwall”

– Octopuses are among the most intelligent creatures in the sea, as they have been observed using tools and possess incredible problem-solving abilities

– Campaigners have argued that, as highly intelligent creatures, Octopuses should be protected under law by the Animal Sentience Act

What’s been said?

Justin Webb, 46, a charity worker from Greater Manchester, shared the image on Twitter and wrote: “36 pence for a dead baby octopus, one of the most amazing creatures to ever swim the seas.

“I swear we do not deserve this world.”

He later clarified: “This little babe isn't actually a baby, I got that wrong. It's an adult. Morrisons: ‘This is the most commonly caught octopus species in Cornwall Eledone cirrhosa.. much smaller than the common octopus. This species can mature from 1 year old, anywhere from 5-12cm in size.’ OK”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “We have already commissioned an independent external review of the available scientific evidence on sentience in the class Cephalopoda, which includes octopus, cuttlefish and squid — and we will carefully consider the results of this review.”

In a statement, Morrisons said: “While we try to manage our stock to customer demands, it is not always possible.

“Occasionally and as a last resort — to ensure that food that is fit for consumption is not wasted — we do provide an extremely limited number of price reductions.”