Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thousands Sign Petition to Preserve Pacific Giant Octopuses

Posted by on Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Nearly 4,000 people have signed a petition to outlaw the harvesting of giant Pacific octopus off Alki, after two divers released pictures last week of another diving pair emerging from a popular dive spot with a live, giant Pacific octopus and throwing it in the back of their truck. Noting that Alki's Seacrest Park is "regularly home to 1-2 Giant Pacific Octopus (GPOs)," the petition points out that people are only restricted to harvesting one octopus a day, "meaning a single ambitious diver could effectively decimate the entire Alki GPO population in a matter of days."

The petition continues:

We request that the Washington Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and/or the City of Seattle (1) establish a GPO harvest-free zone encompassing the marine environment surrounding Alki Seacrest Park, and (2) begin evaluating the long term consequences of limiting GPO harvesting in Washington State.

And here's a closeup look at the giant pacific octopi that call Cove 2 home:


Comments (19) RSS

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Pope Peabrain 19
I remember living in Maryland they had a rule about taking crabs. You left the females and only took males. You want to foster a healthy population. Something we humans are very bad at. And really, how cruel to take a mother on eggs.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on November 6, 2012 at 3:35 PM · Report this
As a few people mention eating a GPO doesn't seem like a great idea. I love octopus (my wife who dives thinks its comparable to eating a dog due to her fondness of both animal's intelligence), but in my experience of eating things, bigger means tougher, octopus doesn't need to be any chewier than it already is.
Posted by CbytheSea on November 6, 2012 at 3:17 PM · Report this
great video! I'm sorry this one octopus had to die to bring attention to this amazing and highly intelligent creatures.

And I had NO idea octopuses was the plural! I've always written octopi.
Posted by mitten on November 6, 2012 at 2:57 PM · Report this
The reason to protect the Giant Pacific Octopus (GPO) population at Seacreast Park is because if they are not hunted there they available for non-consumptive use by thousands of divers annually. Seacreast Park is a place that is safe for divers of nearly all abilities, can be dived regardless of the tides/currents, and in nearly any weather. This makes it unique among Central Puget Sound dive sites. The other places one can see GPO's in the area are subject to strong currents, inclimate weather, and require specialized skills. I've personally felt comfortable taking people I have't dived with before, including a gentleman from the Azores, there to see a GPO. Furthermore there is a significant history of industrial pollution in the Duwamish River and Elliott Bay so I'm fairly certain that any resident seafood isn't safe to eat, the Health Dept. concurres.

It sounds like the WDFW hasn't examined the octopus fishing regulations in decades, asking them to consider the issue isn't too radical. There are a handful of other sites in the sound that have accessible GPO populations frequently visited by divers that we could consider protecting. Perhaps the bag limit should be reduced from one a day in parts of Puget Sound so a small group can't clean out a local GPO population. I don't think this is a radical agenda.

I'm all for saving the PNW Tree Octopus too but I'm a bit concerned about meeting Bearsharktapus. I think that small octopus/pulpo/tako are pretty tasty but I can't imagine trying to chew on a 80lb GPO from a Superfund site. Please sign the petition so that everybody can enjoy Seattle's resident GPO population, the sound is full of more appropriate places to harvest a GPO that hasn't spent its life bio-accumulating toxins.
Posted by restlessnative on November 6, 2012 at 2:56 PM · Report this
On the one hand, the location does sound a bit unsporting. However the guy did say he hunted the octopus by physically wrestling it to the shore, all the while it tried it's best to drown him. That's gotta count for something, right?
Posted by leviathan on November 6, 2012 at 2:04 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 14
@12: i think it's a combination: the specific octopus they took was well-known in the dive community, and that they took it from a place, the most popular dive site in the city, where octopus have no fear of humans. hence the "petting zoo" analogy.

you really, really don't need to hunt GPOs - it's got to be like eating mutton. go squidding or something.
Posted by Max Solomon on November 6, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 13
Protect the cephalopods from us? Laughable. As laughable as daring to hope there is anything to save us from them.

When the dread octopus and related horrors lumber slobberingly into sight and gropingly squeeze their gelatinous green immensity through the black doorway into the tainted outside air of our poison city of madness, then then! you'll see the vanity in all this. You'll see. You'll know.

Ai! Ai!
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on November 6, 2012 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 12
I've never seen anyone answer this question, so what the hell, I'll ask. Are these things actually endangered or something, or is this just somebody's weird-assed harangue against killing animals? Because, if they're not endangered, most people (except for you fringe nutjobs) really aren't going to have much of a problem with this.

(And no, I don't support killing females while they're on eggs, but that doesn't appear to be what happened here.)
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on November 6, 2012 at 12:12 PM · Report this
TVDinner 11
@10: I think you fail every time you post something.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on November 6, 2012 at 11:58 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 10
Decimate means killing every tenth one.

I think you failed Latin.

Besides, nobody cares about Sasquatch anymore, and they're way more endangered.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on November 6, 2012 at 11:39 AM · Report this
Cienna Madrid 9
@8, you're right--the Puget Sound line came from an interview I did last week but it's not in the petition. I'll update the post.
Posted by Cienna Madrid on November 6, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Report this
It doesn't urge harvesting be outlawed in Puget Sound as a whole, just the bit around the diver's park. It's dumb the petitioners are tossing in the notion GPOs deserve protection as if they were endangered species such as orcas. Makes them look ignorant.
Posted by gloomy gus on November 6, 2012 at 11:24 AM · Report this
meanie 7
I get the complaint made by some that taking a octo from this area was like hunting at the petting zoo, and I agree with it. However this issue is quickly becoming a call to arms for peta/vegan types who generally abhor hunting and eating of animals in general.

Remember kids, your delicious local tako sashimi comes from somewhere.
Posted by meanie http://www.spicealley.net on November 6, 2012 at 11:17 AM · Report this
treacle 6
I'm all for preserving the Pacific Giant Octopus, especially during their egg-tending season (although why we humans have an abiding fondness for predators like octopi and cats, I'll have to ruminate upon later) ... but what about saving the highly endangered Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus?
Share the love, at least a little.
Posted by treacle on November 6, 2012 at 11:13 AM · Report this
jBee 5
Oh wait... already fixed. The less you know, I guess.
Posted by jBee on November 6, 2012 at 11:01 AM · Report this
jBee 4
you wouldn't think it, but the plural of "octopus" is "octopuses" or ("octopodes"). "Octopus" is from the Greek and -us -> -i pluralization is from the Latin.

**The more you know**
Posted by jBee on November 6, 2012 at 11:01 AM · Report this
Cienna Madrid 3
@2, fixed, thanks.
Posted by Cienna Madrid on November 6, 2012 at 10:58 AM · Report this
Posted by octopusesplease on November 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM · Report this
venomlash 1
"decimate" >_<
Posted by venomlash on November 6, 2012 at 10:51 AM · Report this

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