Octopus uproar might put an end to legal harvests, or not

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is considering new rules for harvesting giant Pacific octopuses in Puget Sound.

The commission recently approved four options, ranging from a ban on harvesting octopuses in Puget Sound to no changes to current rules.

Current rules allow a person with a valid state fishing license to harvest one giant Pacific octopus per day in most areas of Puget Sound.

Officials began reviewing those rules after a legal hunt of an octopus near Alki Point in Seattle last October prompted public outcry. The panel received petitions signed by hundreds of scuba divers and others seeking protection for octopuses from recreational harvest.

Public workshops are set for April 23 in Port Townsend and April 24 at the Seattle Aquarium.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.