Posted on November 2, 2012 at 6:42 AM
SEATTLE -- The fallout continues after a man wrestled an octopus out of Elliott Bay on Wednesday. While the man did not break the law, upset divers said what happened highlights the need for a change.
Divers Bob Bailey and Scott Lundy witnessed two men throwing the octopus in the back of a pick up truck and confronted him.
Bailey said, "what are you guys doing?"
The man answered, "we are hunting. It's legal," according to Bailey
Bailey responded, "it's legal but nobody does that, it's wrong."
"When you see these animals under water they are graceful, they move, they flow. When you see them in the back of the truck squirming it is not nearly as impressive. It's sad," said Lundy.
Bailey and Lundy posted photos and their account of what happened online. Within 24 hours they received a big response.
"The outrage today is phenomenal," said Bailey.
According to state law, it is legal but there are guidelines, like you have to be licensed and you can only catch one octopus a day. A Fish and Wildlife Officer investigated and said it appeared the diver who caught the octopus followed the rules.
Bailey and Lundy said they understand the rules, but in their many years of diving at Cove 2 in Elliott Bay, they had never seen it happen before. Now a group of dedicated divers wants to make the popular diving site a protected sanctuary from the law. They said they are already reaching out to city leaders.
"People come from all over the state, if not all over the country, to visit octopus just over here," said Lundy. "One octopus lost its life, but hopefully we can save the others."
Bailey said many divers feel a connection with the Giant Pacific octopus in Elliott Bay.
"It's like a petting zoo. We know where they are, we visit them, we give them names," said Bailey. "All we are asking is don't hunt here."
The divers who caught the octopus declined to comment