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Octopus outrage in Seattle

7:57 PM, Nov 4, 2012   |    comments
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Divers Bob Bailey and Scott Lundy witnessed two men throwing the octopus in the back of a pick up truck Wednesday and confronted them. 

The men claimed they were simply hunting, and that their actions were legal.

They were correct.

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.

Still, 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.

Bailey and Lundy said they understand the rules, but in their many years of diving 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.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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