After controversial kill, state considers ban on octopus hunting

After controversial kill, state considers ban on octopus hunting »Play Video
SEATTLE -- A controversial kill has prompted the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to consider a ban on octopus hunting at West Seattle's Seacrest Park.

Under the current law, divers can legally take one octopus from the water each day. That's exactly what diver Dylan Mayer did last week, but the 19-year-old had no idea his hunt would cause so much controversy.

Angry divers took photos of Mayer holding the octopus and shared them online, and since then Mayer said he's received dozens of threatening phone calls and hate-filled emails.

Bob Baily has seen a lot, but he's never seen the diving community come together like it did in the past week.

"We're looking at laws right now that have been on the books for about forty years and no one's ever thought to reexamine those laws because up until now it's never been an issue," Baily said.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is now trying to come up with a plan to preserve octopus in the area. Officials are considering banning octopus hunting throughout the state or designating Seacrest Park as a marine protected area.

At a Thursday Fish and Wildlife meeting, Mayor admitted his kill was a mistake and said he supports a ban

"I did not know that that place was so loved by the divers, otherwise I wouldn't have done it," he said.

Five thousand divers signed an online petition supporting a ban at the park, which attracts divers from around the world.

Fish and Wildlife is planning to hold meetings this winter so the public can weigh in on the options.