How to bring Octopus alive to shore


Nov 2, 2006
I watched an Doku on Discovery Channel about Dr. Steve O Shea s work.
He had no luck with bringing them back to land(shore) alive .
So I wrote him an letter with an Idea I had.
Maybe it is the wrong forum to place that post but how knows.

Here the mail I wrote if you are so kind to let me Know if it may works would be great. THX
Dear Sir

my Name is B.DeKid im living in Germany and I watched an Doku on Discovery yesterday evening ( 01.Nov.2006) about your work.
As I saw you trying to catch Octupus Babys alive and transport them back to shore (land) for research and to study them.
Nice work by the way.
Maybe my Idea could help you.
(by the way the Idea is from an other show on Discovery Channel )
On boats that fish for Crabs, they use Bords inside the Tank where they put the caught crabs. So that the Crabs are not so inffected by the Sea. Means that if they doesn t use this boards as a kind of safty , most of the crabs are dead before they reach the shore.

In the Doku I watched you had the same problem
Yor Tank was an empty box on the ship. There where no Bords (little Walls) inside the Tank
Maybe if you place some Boards (walls) inside the Tank you may bring them alive to shore.

Waves that hit the ship are way not so hard then for yor Octupus Babys as if there are no walls in the Container(box).

Also the Octupus may use them(the boards/walls) for hold on (to find Grip).
Just imagine you would swim inside such an Box with no place to hide or to get grip, guess you would get seasick.

Ok so that was my Idea and maybe you could think abut it and ask an professional in things like crab fishing they could help you I m sure.

Keep up the good work
and PS

here in Germany the Company DAM produced an fishing net which is made out rubber to protect the fish and his skin for damage.

Have a nice Day and wish you luck


Sorry my English if I write isn t that good.


Hope somebody can use that thought

Greets B.DeKid
:welcome: B.DeKid

Nice idea, mate, but I doubt there is anyone who knows more about containing Squid than does Dr. O'Shea.

BTW, I heard that wooden cutting boards are the best because bacteria don't seem to be able to survive on them very long. Anything to that board in the tank thing to suppress bacterial problems?


He was attempting to catch giant squid larva (Architeuthis dux) and bring them back to land to grow them on. Several larva were caught, though they did not make it back to land. Since shooting that documentary, he has discovered that the tanks were composed of a plastic, polyethylene I believe, that is toxic to cephalopods. At the time of shooting, its toxicity wasn't known as cephalopod husbandry was a fairly new concept.

Huge leaps and bounds have since been made in maintaining cephalopods in captivity, and squid, as evident by this site. He has raised a common inshore squid species, Sepioteuthis australis I believe, in captivity from egg for something like 180 days. An amazing feat!

Its great that you saw that documentary and it got you thinking. It did the same thing to me. :wink: Definitely one of my favourite ceph docos. See you around the boards!


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