SF Aquarium Buys Fisherman's Octopus

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Local fisherman are selling octopus they find to SF Zoo (Published Wednesday, Mar 30, 2011)

    A Giant Pacific Octopus will be getting its tentacles wet as the newest addition to an aquarium in San Francisco, officials said.

    The Aquarium of the Bay welcomed the octopus Thursday after purchasing it from a local crab fisherman, according to the aquarium.

    Giant Pacific Octopuses crave crabs and den-like enclosures, and often mistake crabbers' nets as hunting and hiding ground, where they are unintentionally caught, aquarium officials said.

    If the octopus kills and eats the crabber's catch, many fishermen retaliate by killing the octopus, according to the aquarium.

    Aquarium of the Bay tries to change this behavior by working with fishermen and purchasing octopuses for exhibit.

    The aquarium said it advertises this financial opportunity by posting fliers around local piers and tackle stores.

    The newest inhabitant to the aquarium, a true testament to its name, weighs over 80 pounds and joins three other Giant Pacific Octopuses in the aquarium's near-shore tunnel exhibit, officials said.

    Giant Pacific Octopuses are professionals at the art of disguise and can change color within a fraction of a second, by stretching or squeezing their skin, according to the aquarium. Their typical lifespan is about five years.

    "Aquarium of the Bay is always happy to provide a safe haven for octopuses that would otherwise meet a hasty demise," Christina J. Slager, the aquarium's director of husbandry, said in a news release.

    The aquarium is a nonprofit marine life center, dedicated to cultivating the conservation of the San Francisco Bay and its watershed.