Octopus and Soap

Fish & Invertebrate sightings and descriptions, hosted by resident NWDC ID expert Janna Nichols (nwscubamom).
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coachrenz
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Octopus and Soap

Post by coachrenz » Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:35 pm

So, let's say that you find out that some people you kind of know are planning a dive to look for GPOs. Let's also say that you find out that these same people are taking "their bottle of soap" specifically for the purpose of getting the GPOs out of their dens.

What do you do?

This is a serious question, I am faced with this dilemma and am looking for useful feedback, so, no "Cut their air hoses" type answers.

Thanks
Tim
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Penopolypants
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by Penopolypants » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:17 pm

Ask them how they would feel if a giant alien threw a tear gas canister in their home just to watch them run out and squirm around on the ground?

Remind them that we are guest in the octo's homes and it's rude to antagonize your host?

Are they doing this out of ignorance or are they aware of how awful they are behaving and just don't care? Ignorance can be cured, but it's hard to argue with outright stupidity.
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by gcbryan » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:13 am

coachrenz wrote:So, let's say that you find out that some people you kind of know are planning a dive to look for GPOs. Let's also say that you find out that these same people are taking "their bottle of soap" specifically for the purpose of getting the GPOs out of their dens.

What do you do?

This is a serious question, I am faced with this dilemma and am looking for useful feedback, so, no "Cut their air hoses" type answers.

Thanks


Are they doing it in an attempt to capture a GPO? If so and it's not at a marine reserve all you can do I guess is try to make them reconsider. If they are doing it simply to see a GPO out in the open I would explain that the reason something like that works is because GPO's are so sensitive to any foreign matter/chemicals in the water and this is likely to cause damage or eventual death.

If it's someone that would be known to any of us on these boards you might post their name. If they don't feel they are doing anything wrong that shouldn't be a problem. If they do feel they are doing something wrong that might stop them.

I'm not sure this is the best way to handle the situation but it's all that comes to mind.

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BbbleMkr
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by BbbleMkr » Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:37 am

Asking them to be sympathetic to the octo's plight is good, but here's another tool for your box.

If the diver has a competitive streak, I'd tell him/her it's cheating to use anything foreign. It doesn't "count" to smoke them out and you and the other divers will not be impressed by the sighting. If he/she would like to see an octopus out, dive more. And then, the feelings of awe and wonder will be well earned.

If that doesn't work; steal the bottle. (I had a few more Machiavellian thoughts but I really don't want to give too many insights into how "ends justify the means" my head is today.)

dd

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John Rawlings
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by John Rawlings » Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:10 am

Using a "chemical irritant" of any kind to force a GPO from its den is illegal in this State. I was told once by a game warden that he would write up any diver with a "squeeze bottle" of any kind, even if it ultimately didn't stand up in court.

Page 133 in the fishing regulations of Washington State clearly states that for Octopus there are "No chemicals or irritants allowed". These rules apply even when the octopus isn't being harvested for consumption. Personally, I would call the WDFW and report their plans - put the "Gamies" on their tail!

You might also contact Roland Anderson at the Seattle Aquarium and ask his advice on this....I'm certain he would have a LOT to say about it!

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sheahanmcculla
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by sheahanmcculla » Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:43 am

So how does the aquarium get there octopuse for displays? I am assuming they have little tricks to get the octos out.

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Sounder
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by Sounder » Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:29 am

I'm guessing they're thinking of visiting a commonly dived local site that requires favorable tides to dive such as the ones we've got this weekend in the morning?

I'd first tell them that it's just plain illegal - any chemical irritant may not be used with octopuses in Washington state. Then I'd describe to them the harm it could do to the octopus. I would be PISSED if I swam up on people "handling" an octopus and would KNOW that they were doing something to get that octopus out from its den... octopuses just plain don't usually come out on their own.

The other thing I would do would be to make their names public. I agree with Gray that if they're talking about it openly like this, then they shouldn't have a problem with other people knowing their plans too. Perhaps when they see the number of people upset by this, they'll change their plans. From your description, it sounds like this is a common practice for them so who knows whether it'll do any good.

Finally I would contact WDFW and let them know that there are divers planning on being at a site this weekend with the intent of using illegal means of extracting an octopus from its den. If these people aren't receptive to your comments about their activities, I would provide their names and descriptions to WDFW as well... if they won't listen to you, perhaps they'll listen to someone with a badge.
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Pez7378
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by Pez7378 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:37 am

Education is the answer, but that will require time to conduct the proper research to make a valid, and convincing case against that type of behavior. Perhaps quoting the law will be sufficient, however, most people will commit various laws thinking they will never be caught.

Sometimes, it's necessary to be direct and forceful, however it may affect the people you are addressing. I would clearly state your distaste for the behavior, and tell them that if they insist on committing the act, then you will have nothing to do with them and you intend to report their actions to the authorities. It seems that your plea for help/advice indicates a desire to NOT upset these people or lay down the law to them. Sometimes people (even those you care about/respect etc) leave you no choice.

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dwashbur
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by dwashbur » Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:10 am

We've tried a couple of times to entice a GPO out of its den, but we did it by catching a crab and offering it to the octo, not by trying to burn its eyes out! That's just ridiculous. I can echo just about all of the suggestions so far, including more education and stealing the bottle.
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by Sounder » Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:14 am

Yeah, no need to "cut their air hose." A tiny incision in their trilam would suffice.
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by Jabberjaw » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:16 am

If all of what p-pants says doesn't work. Then "Aim for the Ass" Penopolypants avatar

:naka:

Penopolypants wrote:Ask them how they would feel if a giant alien threw a tear gas canister in their home just to watch them run out and squirm around on the ground?

Remind them that we are guest in the octo's homes and it's rude to antagonize your host?

Are they doing this out of ignorance or are they aware of how awful they are behaving and just don't care? Ignorance can be cured, but it's hard to argue with outright stupidity.
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Sounder
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by Sounder » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:22 am

Sounder wrote:Yeah, no need to "cut their air hose." A tiny incision in their trilam would suffice.


Yeah... aim for the ass. If the GPO has to be uncomfortable, then they do too... seems fair to me. The octo isn't used to having soapy water around it, I bet your undergarment isn't use to it either.

Note to self: add trauma sheers to pocket and watch for squirt bottles.
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by Penopolypants » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:04 pm

Jabberjaw wrote:If all of what p-pants says doesn't work. Then "Aim for the Ass" Penopolypants avatar

:naka:

Penopolypants wrote:Ask them how they would feel if a giant alien threw a tear gas canister in their home just to watch them run out and squirm around on the ground?

Remind them that we are guest in the octo's homes and it's rude to antagonize your host?

Are they doing this out of ignorance or are they aware of how awful they are behaving and just don't care? Ignorance can be cured, but it's hard to argue with outright stupidity.


Aim for the ass with a well-placed nick in their dry suit? Low on their ass so that their crotch is the first thing to fill up with icy water? I can't imagine it would be fun for the boys. Then you can steal their bottle while they are distracted by their icy gonads. :evil4:

Okay, so that doesn't fall into the "useful response" category, I know. I apologize.

So, Tim, what are you going to do and will you post the outcome?
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by CaptnJack » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:43 pm

I would:
find out their full plans, then
inform them of the rules against the use of irritants (and the purpose behind those rules)
tell WDFW of their plans and ask for enforcement backup

If WDFW shows up and there's no soap, great! If they choose to carry out those plans and deservedly get busted, shame on them.
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by gcbryan » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:46 pm

sheahanmcculla wrote:So how does the aquarium get there octopuse for displays? I am assuming they have little tricks to get the octos out.


Unfortunately, it's something similar.

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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by CaptnJack » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:49 pm

gcbryan wrote:
sheahanmcculla wrote:So how does the aquarium get there octopuse for displays? I am assuming they have little tricks to get the octos out.


Unfortunately, it's something similar.


Did Roland or someone else there tell you that?
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by Sounder » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:51 pm

Let's be careful here... I'd hate for someone to get the idea that it's ok to do because the aquarium reportedly does something similar. I'd also like to know what Roland thinks of this and what he has to share.
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by coachrenz » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:54 pm

Penopolypants wrote:So, Tim, what are you going to do and will you post the outcome?


Good question P-pants.

It is a bit tough to answer.

The two who are planning this are actually fairly active newer members of this board. At this point, I haven't had the opportunity to discuss this situation with them personally, as I don't see them in person on a regular basis, but I do see them enough that I wouldn't want to call them out by name, at least not yet. Some of you would be really surprised to find out who they are.

I hope that since they are newer divers, that eventually they will mature (as divers) and figure out how to be responsible divers.

Thanks for the good suggestions. It is nice to know that there are others who had the same reaction as I did.
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by CaptnJack » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:58 pm

Sounder wrote:Let's be careful here... I'd hate for someone to get the idea that it's ok to do because the aquarium reportedly does something similar. I'd also like to know what Roland thinks of this and what he has to share.


I'm not sure they do. Octos have a fairly short lifespan and I thought they captured some while small out in the open. Without any irritants. They certainly seem to have quite a few small to medium sized ones ready and waiting in holding.
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by gcbryan » Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:02 pm

CaptnJack wrote:
gcbryan wrote:
sheahanmcculla wrote:So how does the aquarium get there octopuse for displays? I am assuming they have little tricks to get the octos out.


Unfortunately, it's something similar.


Did Roland or someone else there tell you that?


I'm not going to get into names but...yes. How did you think those GPO's ended up at the Aquarium. They don't just crawl out of their dens for Aquarium divers either.

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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by CaptnJack » Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:51 pm

gcbryan wrote:
CaptnJack wrote:
gcbryan wrote:
sheahanmcculla wrote:So how does the aquarium get there octopuse for displays? I am assuming they have little tricks to get the octos out.


Unfortunately, it's something similar.


Did Roland or someone else there tell you that?


I'm not going to get into names but...yes. How did you think those GPO's ended up at the Aquarium. They don't just crawl out of their dens for Aquarium divers either.


Well I work at the Aquarium too and honestly such topics don't come up in discussion. So I am curious who you are talking with and what the Aquarium's collection permit allows. If the practice is legal for the Aquarium there should be no need to keep it "under wraps".

It is definately prohibited for sport divers.
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by Sounder » Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:00 pm

Even if there is a technique the aquarium uses, I think it's best not to post it (for obvious reasons). Richard is correct in saying that ANY chemical irritant is illegal and I believe that doing anything other than taking pictures and leaving bubbles is incredibly disrespectful to the octos and to other divers who enjoy seeing them.
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by CaptnJack » Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:03 pm

One more reason to prohibit the taking of octos on scuba...
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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by gcbryan » Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:06 pm

CaptnJack wrote:
gcbryan wrote:
CaptnJack wrote:
gcbryan wrote:
sheahanmcculla wrote:So how does the aquarium get there octopuse for displays? I am assuming they have little tricks to get the octos out.


Unfortunately, it's something similar.


Did Roland or someone else there tell you that?


I'm not going to get into names but...yes. How did you think those GPO's ended up at the Aquarium. They don't just crawl out of their dens for Aquarium divers either.


Well I work at the Aquarium too and honestly such topics don't come up in discussion. So I am curious who you are talking with and what the Aquarium's collection permit allows. If the practice is legal for the Aquarium there should be no need to keep it "under wraps".

It is definately prohibited for sport divers.


I have no doubt that what the Aquarium does is legal given their permits. There are a lot of things that aren't publicized around any Aquarium. I think public aquariums are a good trade off between their interaction with the environment and the public good that comes from educating the public. There is a down side to any aquarium and that is collection techniques, changing the collecting environment, greater loss of life from taking animals out of their natural environment (in some cases), etc. Our Aquarium does as good job I believe I'm just not going to mention names regarding info obtained in private conversations.

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Re: Octopus and Soap

Post by CaptnJack » Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:19 pm

Maybe you shouldn't discuss that you think the Aquarium uses irritants here then eh... Not like it matters much what commercial fishing or scientific collection permits allow. Its illegal for sport divers to use irritants, period.
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