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How would you handle this?

Discussion in 'Marine Life and Ecosystems' started by BCSGratefulDiver, Nov 1, 2012.

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  1. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Yesterday afternoon I arrived at what is the most popular dive site in Puget Sound to witness two divers coming out of the water with one of the reasons people dive here ... they had harvested a Giant Pacific Octopus. Now, let me first point out that this is legal ... and I have absolutely no objection to divers legally harvesting marine animals ... but just because you can do something doesn't necessarily mean that you should. I walked down to the beach as these two young fellows were pulling this octopus ashore and asked them why they were harvesting here. I pointed out that what they were doing amounted to shooting deer at a petting zoo ... hundreds of divers visit this site almost every day to see these creatures.

    [​IMG]

    His response was that he knew what he was doing ... he went to school for this, and as long as it's legal he's going to continue doing it. He taunted me by telling me that this octopus had been guarding a den full of eggs ... "and now she's not". He also told me that since he's legally allowed to take one octopus per day (for personal consumption, mind you) ... he's "coming back tomorrow".

    I posted more photos on our local website, particularly those showing this young fellow's face, for purposes of identifying him. We now know who he is ... and on his Facebook account he also makes claims to hunting in a Marine Sanctuary, which is illegal. Of course, making the claim on the Internet doesn't make it so ... and there some other disturbing things on his Facebook page (a captured snake with a firecracker shoved down its throat).

    At any rate, seems like this young man is impervious to public comments about the appropriateness of what he's doing ... and legally he can clean out our local dive sites of probably the most beloved creature that divers go to these sites to see. My thought is to contact our local dive shops, explain the situation, forward the pictures ... particularly that of this octopus writhing, still alive, in the back of this guy's pickup truck ... and ask if he's one of their customers. Again, I have photos and a name for positive identification, so there's no question about who this guy is.

    What I'm hoping for is that someone ... perhaps the instructor who taught this fellow how to dive, or taught his hunting class (he claims he "went to school for this") can discuss with him responsible hunting practices.

    Again, I have no issue with him hunting ... I personally feel it's bad form to do it at popular dive sites. I also feel that people who do things like this are a stain, by association, on those who do hunt responsibly.

    So I'm curious about what y'all would do. It's a big ocean ... and we all dive for our own reasons, which are not all the same. Do you think it should be OK to hunt at dive sites if it's legal to do so? Or do you think they should somehow be off-limits to this activity? Or something in between? It's a lot like other situations where people of different interests and perspectives have to share a common resource ... where would you draw the line between what's appropriate and what's not?

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
  2. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    The only reason I would dive the PNW is to see a Octopus and a wolf eel. If I saw both on the first dive, I wouldn't need to make a second.

    In response to your question, there are a$$holes everywhere. The more he is taunted, the more he will engage in inappropriate behavior. Kinda like our very own Mark the Shark, we all have our crosses to bear. With anyone who would torture animals, I'm sure he will go postal in a school sometime, then we will resurrect this thread and say "see? I told you he was a nutjob."
     
    DivemasterDennis and tracydr like this.
  3. rhwestfall

    rhwestfall Solo Diver

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    Regrettably Bob, there is no right or wrong in this specific case, only ethics. Many fail in that aspect.

    I am a hunter (land based, not the oceans), and take what I do seriously, but attempt to represent myself as "professional", "ethical", and "reasonable" to the public in general.

    His are not decisions I would have made..... pity.....
     
  4. dumpsterDiver

    dumpsterDiver Banned

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    How would I handle it? I would check out his catch. If he is following all the laws in place, then I would leave him alone or try to change the laws. I don't think i would post pictures of his face and try to get other people to do what? Discriminate against him?

    If he was doing something illegal and making underwater hunters look bad, I would confront him; even if he had a weapon and I was with my children. BTW I have taken many wolfish, they are EXCELLENT food, extremely good, white firm meat.

    [video=youtube;9TBUw6s4i7A]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TBUw6s4i7A&list=UU1utDku8vJRJYgBZImLyLJQ& index=14&feature=plcp[/video]
     
    drdaddy, diverdoug1, ApEkS82 and 2 others like this.
  5. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
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    Frank, if you were to come out here on a day with low tidal exchanges (2 feet or less), you would never have to do more than one dive in Puget Sound ... I can show you a clay wall that's guaranteed to provide multiple sightings of both animals in a single dive (providing our young hunter doesn't get there first) ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
  6. decompression

    decompression Instructor...seriously...

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    Frank, my treat to madrona point, always several octopi and wolfies......I might convince you to do a second dive.
     
    Sheri SGR likes this.
  7. electrix

    electrix Divemaster

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    What is he doing with them, is it legal to sell them ?
     
  8. Peter Guy

    Peter Guy Divemaster

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    Bob, when I read about this first, it just made me sick. One of the things my students just love is seeing a GPO. I just don't get it.

    Maybe we need to get "The Office" closed to hunting.
     
    lavachickie, shoredivr and vladimir like this.
  9. Guba

    Guba Regular of the Pub

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    Regretably, I only have questions and no answers. What does one actually DO with a Giant Pacific Octopus? I've eaten squid and octopus, but are the older, larger specimens suitable and palatable?

    It's a pity that the words "conservation" and "preservation" are so foreign to some people's minds. In this fellow's case, I suspect they are just that. It's not that he harvested the octopus or even that he did so in a popular dive site (though that is telling), but to brag that he harvested an animal that was in the process of replentishing the species just about says it all. He is short-sighted, selfish, and unlikely to look beyond his needs to consider the ramifications to anyone or anything else.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2012
    divewench1 and paulw like this.
  10. rhwestfall

    rhwestfall Solo Diver

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    Bob, what financial role do divers make in that area (permits/passes)? Is there a likely ability to lobby? Perhaps stressing the safety of divers needed. As majestic as that creature looks, is it at risk? Can a school get involved in the lobby from an educational perspective? Is there any research going on that makes this site specifically valuable?

    Realistically, if it is legal, there isn't much that can be done if the individual is acting within the letter of the law......
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2012
    Madacub likes this.
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