Danielle Verna

Preliminary Assessment of Multiple Indicators of Well-Being in Enteroctopus dofleini Following Capture as Bycatch in Pot Fisheries
This study is designed to assess the well-being of Giant Pacific octopuses after being caught as bycatch.  Octopuses are resilient creatures and can typically withstand extended periods of time out of water, usually surviving if not harvested.  However, that exposure can have underlying negative effects, as seen through reduced respiration rates or body temperature.  
Thus far, we have studied three octopuses caught as bycatch during two pot fisheries, Pacific cod in Kachemak Bay and Tanner crab in waters southeast of the Alaskan Peninsula.  
As shown by the pictures to the right, air exposure also has an effect on body coloring.  The top picture shows the octopus immediately after being removed from the water.  Subsequent pictures are of the same octopus, at ten minute intervals.  The octopus was released back into the water after 30 minutes of exposure.
The next step in this study will be to examine stress hormones in fecal matter from captive octopuses subjected to similar exposure.