Target: Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission Chair and Director of the Marine Program Miranda Wecker
Goal: Increase restrictions on octopus hunting in Puget Sound by reducing the harvesting limit and enforcing humane hunting methods
A recent event sparked massive public outrage when a Washington diver was seen cruelly beating an octopus to death near the popular diving area of Alki Point near Seattle. The inhumane act, allegedly a form of “art,” according to the accused diver, sparked an intense debate regarding octopus hunting in the area.
Currently, in the state of Washington, people with a valid fishing license are permitted to capture one octopus per day in Puget Sound. The giant Pacific octopus, the dominant species of octopus in the area, is a familiar sight to divers who frequent Alki Point. These animals can weigh up to 90 pounds and have an arm span of 20 feet. Despite this massive size, however, they are continually hunted for their meat and other uses.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is currently deciding on whether or not octopus hunting should be restricted or even banned altogether. Although giant Pacific octopuses are not presently on the list of threatened species, the cruel abuses carried out by the diver who beat an octopus to death on shore have prompted grave concern over how these animals are treated. Furthermore, octopuses are a vital part of the natural marine ecosystem in Puget Sound. In order to ensure that this ecosystem continues to thrive, the giant Pacific octopus must be protected.
Encourage the preservation and humane treatment of the giant Pacific octopus by encouraging the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to increase regulation on octopus hunting. Ask that the commission reducing the number of octopuses an individual can harvest each month and to strictly enforce humane methods of hunting with penalty fines or removal of fishing licenses.
Dear Washington Fish and Wildlife Chair Miranda Wecker,
The recent event involving a diver who captured and cruelly beat an octopus to death on shore near Alki Point has brought to light the dire need for stricter protections for the giant Pacific octopus. These magnificent animals are a vital part of the natural marine ecosystem of Puget Sound and deserve to be treated with respect.
Currently, a person with a valid state fishing license is permitted to capture one octopus per day from the area. While this number may seem low, it totals to potentially more than 30 octopuses harvested per licensed person each month.
Furthermore, the need to hunt octopuses is relatively trivial, and the act is carried out more for sport than anything else.
I strongly urge you to increase restrictions on octopus hunting in Puget Sound by lowering the harvesting limit and by strictly enforcing humane hunting methods. In this way, you will help to ensure that one diver’s cruel acts are never repeated.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Dr. Dwayne Meadows via Wikimedia Commons