Fisherman’s deadly occy warning

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser
A local fisherman is warning people after sighting a blue ring octopus in his crab nets.
Camera IconA local fisherman is warning people after sighting a blue ring octopus in his crab nets. Credit: Out There Fishing

A local fisherman has issued a warning after finding two blue-ringed octopuses in his crab nets.

Gavin Jackman from Out There Fishing was pulling his nets in Princess Royal Harbour last week when he spotted one of the small and highly venomous cephalopods.

“I was pulling up the nets at the end of the day, about 500m from the shore of the Princess Royal Sailing Club. We pulled one up and a blue-ring octopus was in the bait basket,” he said

“It was the first one I have seen in a while. I’ve never come across them before in our gear and since then I have seen another one.”

Mr Jackman said he thought there might be more around.

“I just want to warn families and kids who love crabbing in the area,” he said.

“A lot of younger ones follow our (Facebook) page, so it’s a good warning for them to be aware and careful.

“Coming up to the Easter break, a lot of families get out there and chuck a net in. I would hate to see something happen.

“Just be mindful of the environment that you’re in. A safety precaution would be to wear gloves.”

According to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions website, the blue-ringed octopus is extremely venomous and its bites can be fatal.

It grows up to 12cm long and, while common in WA waters, it is rarely seen.

The species lives in reef flats and tidal pools, often hiding in dead shells or other debris.

Locals are warned to wear gloves when picking up shells or rubbish from the beach.

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