Mark Saiget
An octopus hunter was confronted by diving enthusiasts in West Seattle in 2012 after he harvested the animal from Alki's Seacrest Cove 2. From Oct. 6 on, it is illegal to harvest at several popular dive spots throughout the Puget Sound.

Octopus hunting ban at popular dive spots becomes law

Giant Pacific Octopus became officially protected from recreational harvest on Oct. 6 at several popular Puget Sound dive spots, including locations in West Seattle.

The new law, implemented by the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, came into being after a young man legally harvested an octopus from Seacrest Cove 2 on Alki in West Seattle on Halloween day last year.

After months of public outcry over the harvest, the WDFW commission voted in August of this year to ban harvests in the following popular dive spots:
• Deception Pass north of Oak Harbor
• Seacrest Park Coves 1, 2 and 3 near Alki Point in West Seattle
• Alki Beach Junk Yard in West Seattle
• Three Tree Point in Burien
• Redondo Beach in Des Moines
• Les Davis Marine Park adjacent to the Les Davis Fishing Pier in Tacoma
• Days Island Wall in Tacoma

WDFW says octopus population numbers in Puget Sound are healthy, but “the new rule makes viewing opportunities for these magnificent animals a priority at the sites,” Fish Management Manager Craig Burley said in a press release.

"Puget Sound is one of the most popular dive destinations in the nation, and giant Pacific octopuses are one of its main attractions," Burley added. "These new areas provide additional protection for the species and a greater chance for divers to see these fascinating animals."

Seattle Aquarium CEO Robert Davidson was pleased with the law taking effect, saying, ““Protecting our native animals enriches our experience of life in the Sound. Scientists, sport fishers, divers and the public at large—we all have an interest in a rich marine world.”

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