Should Floridians really be eating octopus, ‘the Einsteins of the sea’? | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
Common Atlantic octopus
Common Atlantic octopus
Published Jul. 3

Lay off the octopus

These are Tampa Bay’s 9 best octopus dishes | June 30

I completed an extensive research project for my undergraduate university degree on the remarkable capabilities of octopus species. Consuming these “Einsteins of the sea” is nothing that should be celebrated. Octopus are among the most intelligent and highly evolved invertebrates. They have the ability to feel pain, recognize individual faces, problem solve, camouflage, and have long and short-term memories. These extraordinary animals have even been documented to escape from aquariums and tiny cracks in boats.

The octopus in Tampa Bay restaurants are raised through aquaculture or octopus farming. In an open letter signed by over 100 scientists that appeared in Forbes, farming octopus is not only unethical but harmful to the declining marine environments due to overfishing. Octopus species in a farmed setting require fishmeal and fish oil which comes from overfished stocks.

Do the environment and octopus species a favor: Leave them off your plate.

Summer Marshall, Sarasota

Growing population problems

America might soon have too few workers | Column, June 18

This column fails to address the environmental impact of continued population growth. The U.S. has the third-highest population globally, behind China and India, two countries with significant problems due to their population levels. The dangers of a constantly expanding population far outweigh the supposed benefits of increasing population to offset a so-called worker shortage and declining birthrate. Our current immigration levels are not sustainable.

The media rarely reports on the environmental aspect of our population growth. Since Americans have a higher carbon/ecological footprint than most other countries, the effect of a constantly rising population does not bode well for reducing America’s carbon footprint. The U.S. is the second-highest per capita emitter of CO2 behind Saudi Arabia and twice the level of China.

If we are serious about meeting the Paris Climate Accords, we must address population growth due to immigration. Then there’s the problem of habitat destruction and fragmentation. The more people we have, the more resources are needed to house, feed, and provide for these individuals. Since 1970 the U.S. population has increased by 127 million people. Yet, the open border advocates maintain that this is not enough. The cost of uncontrolled population growth is far more a threat to our economy and way of life than a so-called reduction in the number of workers.

When one considers these factors, massive immigration levels are not a panacea for a worker shortage or declining birth rate.

Dominic Fralli, Tampa

New York’s voting troubles

Vote-counting mess roils mayoral race | July 1

If the Democratic New York City’s mayors election debacle is any indication of how we would fare as a country during elections if Senate Bill 1 were to become law, then the Senate was correct in blocking SB 1.

Mark Khan, Tampa