(Whimsical 2011 look at a young GPO, by “Diver Laura” James)
What started with a startling incident last fall in West Seattle ended today with a vote in Olympia. As noted here earlier this week, today was the day the state Wildlife Commission planned to make a decision on whether to protect the Giant Pacific Octopus – and they decided to set aside seven areas for octopus protection. From the official news release:
The commission considered several options for managing the recreational harvest of giant Pacific octopuses before unanimously deciding to prohibit their harvest at Redondo Beach in Des Moines; Three Tree Point in Burien; Seacrest Park Coves 1, 2, and 3 (in West Seattle); an area adjacent to the Les Davis Fishing Pier in Tacoma; the Alki Beach Junk Yard in West Seattle; the Days Island Wall in Tacoma; and Deception Pass north of Oak Harbor. The new rules will take effect this fall.
Many were surprised to find out after last fall’s much-publicized incident, involving a boasted-about octopus catch, that the GPOs were not protected at all; divers and sportfishers subsequently joined the effort to figure out how/whether to change that, culminating in today’s vote.