More than 260 kilos of live octopuses rescued from illegal ‘traps’

More than 260 kilos of live octopuses rescued from illegal 'traps'

Credit: Guardia Civil

More than 260 kilos of live octopuses rescued from illegal ‘traps’ in Spain.

Officers from the Guardia Civil have rescued more than 265 kilos of live octopuses caught in illegal traps. They did so as part of Operation Santolagarro. The officers were able to detect poachers off the coast of Santoña in Spain.

During the summer officers were alerted by locals that octopuses were being captured illegally. The illegal captures were taking place in the bays of Santoña and Laredo.

It was reported that small-scale vessels from ports in Santoña and Laredo were fishing using illegal “tube lines”. They were reported be fishing at night in order to avoid detection.

Officers carried out an investigation and discovered that the fishermen were selling off the octopuses to restaurants, private individuals and also to friends.

They were able to board one vessel where they discovered that octopuses had been illegally caught. They made the fishermen return all the octopuses to the sea.

Not only had the fishermen been using dangerous illegal “tubes” they had also been pouring chemicals over the octopuses. The octopuses had ammonia poured over them when they were in the tubes to make it easier to remove them.

Illegal trapping is responsible for declining octopus populations in the area. The female octopuses get trapped and end up laying their eggs in the illegal traps. The eggs then die inside the trap. In official traps the female octopuses would be able to lay their eggs in safety.

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Written by

Alex Glenn

Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at