‘Octopus boom’ in UK waters for first time in 70 years: Fishermen report bumper sightings

British Boom Octopus! Cornish divers and fishermen are reporting a “plague” for the first time in 70 YEARS – one caught 150 people in one day.

  • Huge numbers of octopuses have been spotted along the Cornish coastline this month.
  • The common octopus is rare in Cornish waters, usually recorded twice a year.
  • Conservationists believe this could be evidence of a booming octopus population.
  • The last recorded boom on the south coast was in 1948 – over 70 years ago.

Huge numbers of octopuses have been sighted along the Cornish coastline this month in what experts describe as a “fruitful year” for the species.

Divers and snorkelers are reporting an increase in sightings of the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris), especially around Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula.

One fisherman from Mevagissi reported catching 150 octopuses in one day, compared to his usual catch of one or two per year.

Despite its name, this large species of octopus is rarely seen in UK waters, with only two sightings a year on average in Cornwall.

Conservationists now believe the “plague” may be evidence of a boom in the octopus population – an event that was last recorded on the south coast of England more than 70 years ago.

Despite its name, the Common Octopus, this large species of octopus is rarely seen in UK waters, with only two sightings a year on average in Cornwall.

Octopuses and humans share ‘jumping genes’

A new study shows that human and octopus brains share the same ‘jumping genes’.

More than 45% of the human genome is made up of sequences called transposons, which are “jumping genes” that can “move” from one point in the genome to another by shuffling or duplication.

A study by Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn from Naples shows that the same “jumping genes” are active both in the human brain and in the brains of two species: Octopus vulgaris, the common octopus, and Octopus bimaculoides, the California octopus.

“I was very excited when I started getting messages from our Seasearch divers – not only because these amazing animals are rare, but because they saw several of them on one dive,” said Matt Slater, Marine Conservation Officer environment. Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

“These are such amazing, alien creatures – some of the smartest animals in our oceans – and it would be incredible to see a population explosion in our local waters.”

The common octopus is known for its large eyes, soft sac-like body, and tentacles that can be up to one meter (over 3 feet) long.

It is a highly intelligent, active predator, and it even has a secret weapon – special glands produce a poison that it uses to incapacitate its prey, which are usually crabs.

They are masters of disguise and change color and texture depending on the mood or situation.

Like other cephalopods, their population fluctuates wildly, and scientists are trying to learn more about their behavior and numbers.

Massive octopus population booms are rare, but not unheard of.

The Marine Biological Association has reported several major octopus “plagues” along the south coast of England from Land’s End to Sussex; first in 1899, and most recently in the summer of 1948.

The Cornish Wildlife Trust explained that female octopuses lay a huge number of eggs – from 100,000 to 500,000.

After hatching, they drift with the current of the ocean and must fend for themselves.

The common octopus is known for its large eyes, soft sac-like body, and tentacles that can be up to one meter (over 3 feet) long.

The common octopus is known for its large eyes, soft sac-like body, and tentacles that can be up to one meter (over 3 feet) long.

Like other cephalopods, their population fluctuates wildly, and scientists are trying to learn more about their behavior and numbers.

Like other cephalopods, their population fluctuates wildly, and scientists are trying to learn more about their behavior and numbers.

Divers and snorkelers are reporting an increase in sightings of the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris), especially around Cornwall's Lizard Peninsula.

Divers and snorkelers are reporting an increase in sightings of the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris), especially around Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula.

Many die, but under good conditions, many may survive, and this may explain the large increase in population this year.

“We hope this is a sign that the octopus populations in our Cornish waters are healthy,” Slater said.

“But, unfortunately, not all of our marine life is thriving,” he added.

“By taking action to protect wildlife and recording your marine observations with us, we can build a picture over time and confirm whether such incidents are isolated incidents or whether the octopus population is growing steadily.”

PROTECTIVE MECHANISMS OF THE OCTOPUS

One of the most effective ways octopuses avoid predation is by camouflaging themselves to fit in with their environment.

They have special pigment cells that allow them to control their skin color like chameleons.

In addition to changing color, they can manipulate the texture of their skin to blend in with the terrain.

In addition to camouflage, they can run away from predators using a “jet propulsion” escape method in which they rapidly eject water to move quickly through the water.

The jet of water from the siphon is often accompanied by an ejection of ink to confuse and evade potential enemies.

The suckers on the tentacles of eight-legged beasts are extremely powerful and are used to pull prey to a sharp beak.

In addition to protecting them from other animals, it has recently been discovered that octopuses can detect ultrasonic waves that warn of a volcanic eruption or earthquake, giving them enough time to escape.