Giant Pacific octopus protection update

Giant Pacific octopus

In November of last year news reports of the killing of a giant Pacific octopus near Alki Point raised questions about the possible need for protective measures for the species. The Aquarium called for a review of options by the State of Washington, and has been working closely with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the state Department of Natural Resources and other community partners to help identify the best management option for the giant Pacific octopus.

In February, the Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the appointment of a citizen’s advisory group to review questions raised by the public related to giant Pacific octopus species management. Seattle Aquarium Conservation Manager Mark Plunkett was one of the 12 citizens named to the advisory group. The Aquarium is serving as a host for meetings of the advisory group and for a public workshop. In addition, Aquarium biologists Tim Carpenter and Kathryn Kegel have shared research about the species developed by Aquarium staff, and the Aquarium is keeping City elected officials and others informed about progress.

Over the course of spring and summer, following further advisory group and public meetings, we expect that the group will make recommendations to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission. Detailed information about the special advisory group and its efforts can be found at http://wdfw.wa.gov/.

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