Giant Octopus Rescued From Bay Area Crabbing Nets

Today, a crabber in the San Francisco Bay area spotted a Giant Pacific Octopus caught up in his nets. A true testament to its name, the octopus weighed in at over 80 pounds.

Because the den-like crabbing enclosures seem like a good spot for hiding and hunting, octopii are often accidentally trapped this way. If the octopus kills and eats the crabber’s catch, many fishermen respond by killing the octopus.

Aquarium of the Bay works with local fishermen to change this behavior by purchasing the octopuses for its near-shore tunnel exhibit, where they help strengthen visitors’ connection to the animals.

The Aquarium’s Husbandry team posts fliers around local piers and tackle stores, alerting crabbers of this opportunity, and were happy when the fruits of their labor paid off today, allowing them to rescue the newest octopus. Today’s octopus was the third to be rescued by the Aquarium this way.

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, which contains millions of elastic cells with colored pigments. 

The animals are also terminal spawners, meaning females only have one opportunity to reproduce. They typically mate closer to the end of their fairly short lifespan, which on average is only five years. Luckily, octopuses lay anywhere from 18,000 – 74,000 eggs, helping to strengthen the vitality of the species.

Related Reading:
Rare Giant Jellyfish Caught On Tape For The First Time!
The Amazing Mimic Octopus (Video)
Beached Dolphins Are Often Deaf

Image Credit: Flickr - Ed Bierman


Carrie Anne Brown

Great news, thanks for sharing =)

Bill K.
Bill K6 years ago

i'm not sure why some people think the unintended victims of the fishing industry deserve more consideration than the intended victims. stop fishing and they all live. and they certainly don't belong imprisoned in an aquarium either.

Frances Bell
Frances Bell6 years ago

Great that it was rescued, but this poor animal needs to be back out in the ocean where it belongs, not in an aquarium to be gawked at and possiby get sick.

Robin Dzimistarishvili

How nice that it was rescued.

Karren Exley
Karren Exley6 years ago

so many species get trapped in so called fishing nets the department of fisheries need to clamp down & reasess the laws that state how big the mesh holes need to be so that fisherman & crabbers get there desired catch & not some other poor thing people mighnt think why bother but how many lives would be spared if the nets were made smaller may i bring the dolphin death toll into this not forgetting the giant octopus

Dan B.
Dan Brook6 years ago


The best way to honor and protect animals EVERYDAY is to not eat them.

Fight cruelty with your fork; have compassion on your plate; increase social justice with every meal.

For more info about the *many* benefits of vegetarianism (and the many problems with the production and consumption of meat), please visit (and share)

Eco-Eating at

J. C.
Jess Carson6 years ago

Good thinking, Aquarium of the Bay! I do hope that you will release the octopus after a short time, though : )

Janet K.
Janet K6 years ago


Charlene R.
Charlene Rush6 years ago

What, out there, have we not yet discovered?

How many of the undiscovered, could save lives?

Rita Flynn
Rita Odessa6 years ago

I watched a show on the intelligence of octopus's and I have the utmost respect for them, not that I didn't before I just never knew. I am glad people are working together to educate and save these wonderful creatures.