Divers Outraged After Man Kills Live Pacific Octopus “For Meat”

puget sound octopus hunting

People are outraged after pictures surfaced of 19-year-old Dylan Mayer, a diver, catching a still-alive Pacific octopus. Mayer caught the octopus in Washington’s Puget Sound in an area popular with divers because of the variety of underwater wildlife. Mayer said, “I eat it for meat. It’s no different than fishing. It’s just a different animal.”

But other Seattle-area divers don’t agree. After Rapture Of The Deep posted photos of Dylan and his friend with the octopus, controversy brewed as to whether his actions of removing a Giant Pacific Octopus from its natural habitat were justified. Technically, there are no legal protections on this species of octopus or on the area where he captured it from. Mayer also had a permit to hunt on that particular day. But divers feel that the Pacific octopus is a unique, treasured part of the Puget Sound, and that the fragile ecosystem of the area should require additional protection.

A Washington game warden, Wendy Willette said:

“I think the timing, manner and place where the harvest occurred may be the issue. It could have been done at a better time. It’s like deer hunting. You don’t kill a deer while kids are viewing it, and I think it’s a similar problem here. You need to be sensitive to other drivers and people if you’re going to be a sportsman.”

Mayer then posted several other pictures on his Facebook page, including one of the dead octopus spread out on the floor of his garage.  He explained that he wanted to take it so a friend could draw it for an assignment in an art class, and that his family has already given away most of the meat from the octopus. There was some concern over whether or not the octopus had been protecting her eggs, but it was later determined that it was a male. Mayer added, “The bottom line is another octopus will move up into that area and take its place.”

Mayer has received death threats and other threatening communications since the incident. Bob Bailey, a witness to the octopus’ removal from the water, said “It’s just not done. It’s bad form. Even if you can do it, you shouldn’t do it. As they were coming in you could tell the octopus was alive. It was writhing around and they were wrestling with it.”

Even though Mayer was well within his legal rights, people take issue with his treatment of the animal and his attitude towards the situation. I’m not a hunter or a diver, but I’d love to hear from some of you who are. What do you think of this situation? Will it bring about new, necessary protections for underwater wildlife in Washington state or are divers making a big deal over nothing?

Photo: KOMOnews.com

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    • romylove

      Considering that the Seattle aquarium captures live PNW Octopuses and puts them on display (rotating them out regularly), I’m saddened to think that he may have killed and eaten once of my favorite parts of the aquarium. I’m also surprised that they aren’t legally protected.

    • Meg

      I don’t know much about this type of octopus, but if we’re going to be upset about his treatment of the creature then maybe we should pay more attention to our own livestock.

    • GerWald209

      Exactly my point #meg. If we’re going to fret about this and say stuff like ” you don’t kill a deer while kids are viewing it” we have to think again and change perspective.

    • http://twitter.com/sevnthstar Mary

      As a west coast diver, I can tell you that the diving community is VERY upset about it…not just because he killed what was probably a female octopus protecting her nest (so she won’t leave it, no sport there.) Octopuses are very fast and not easy to even photograph, much less kill, so it makes sense that this was why he was able to capture it. The local divers saw him PUNCHING the octopus as he dragged it into shore, and unceremoniously dumped it, still writhing, into the flat bed of his truck. He didn’t need to kill the octopus to feed himself or his family. When approached by the local divers, he was rude, arrogant, and talked about coming back the next day to kill another one. He showed no respect for the animal or the divers in his community who frequented that site. His facebook page was public and before he took it down, people saw and documented multiple photos of him torturing other animals. While everyone may not care about this, people who love the ocean and want to protect the inhabitants do!! Thank God for divers or callous people who say pay more attention to our livestock would probably just allow the oceans to be decimated. Hopefully the Pacific Northwest divers can obtain protective status for this location so this idiot can’t ever do anything like this again. I don’t know why anyone would want to hunt an animal like this. As far as hunting in general, it’s really not necessary that ANYONE in a developed country needs to hunt anymore. And yes, I’m also for more ethical treatment of any animals consumed in this country, but this is a different issue.

    • TracyK

      Where is a man eating
      great white shark when you need one!!!!

    • Ame Rican

      Who IN the F**k really cares!?!?… you want to get religious? Fine. what does it say (the bible)we are to do with the animals? it doesn’t say anything about protecting them and harassing another human being for killing one! DOES IT? OK how about Darwinism… Survival of the fittest! ENOUGH SAID! WHAT DO YOU EXPECT OUT OF A 19 YEAR OLD? HAS EVERYONE HERE WHO HAS SAID SOMETHING BAD ABOUT THIS KID- DONE NOTHING BAD/WRONG/HARMFUL TO ANYTHING OR ANYONE IN THEIR LIFE? OH yeah i forgot … its not about what this kid has done, its about the FAKE FACEBOOK REALITY that if you complain about something enough,… it’s going to change… Get a life you hypocrites and take charge in your own life and stop trying to interfere in someone else’s life… I have an IDEA YOU FAT fu*kS…. GO ON A DIET, STOP EATING FAST FOOD SO MUCH, EXERCISE, GET AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER, GO UP TO THE NEXT PERSON YOU SEE AND ACTUALLY SAY HI! GROW AS A COMMUNITY, LIVE WITH EACH OTHER INSTEAD OF FINDING SOMETHING WRONG WITH THEM! If you don’t like what I have said…. FANTASTIC! IT IS A GOOD THING, BUT STILL, FOR YOUR HEALTH, GO ON A FREAKING DIET ANYWAY

      • jason1000

        STFU!!! This was done in a cruel way and classless! With no respect for life. So F’ OFF!!

    • jason1000

      someone should do the same to this fuck!