Giant octopus with “suckers the size of 50p pieces” caught in UK waters

A giant squid, rarely seen since populations were badly hit during a major freeze in the 1960s, has been caught off the Jersey shore and brought safely back to sea

Chris Rushton with Giant Octopus
Chris Rushton with the giant octopus he caught off the Jersey shore

One angler was shocked to find he had caught a giant common octopus “with suckers the size of 50p pieces”.

Chris Rushton reeled in the creature, which weighed a whopping 18 pounds, while fishing off the south west coast of Jersey.

The Wiltshire resident, who was visiting the island on a work trip and having a day off, was on board the charter vessel Anna III when the catch was made on Tuesday, the Jersey Evening Post reported.

After snapping a few photos of the impressive animal, Chris safely returned the octopus to the sea.

Paul Chambers, head of the government’s marine resources department, said it was a rare example of a common squid approaching its maximum size.

The animal weighed 18 pounds


fishing jersey)

The boat’s skipper said the suction cups were the size of 50p pieces


fishing jersey)

Chris, who is also a competitive fisherman, told the Jersey Evening Post: “I had a day off and decided to go fishing, which I do a lot at home. It came out of the water, everyone was like ‘wow’.

“Including the legs, it was a few good meters. We weighed him, took a quick photo and got him safely back in the water where he dived again.”

Anna III’s skipper Tony Heart said the octopus’s suction cups were the size of 50p pieces.

He added that the crew were all very surprised by the size of the animal, adding that in 30 years of chartering, the team had only seen one other octopus that weighed about a pound.

Paul said there was once an abundance of octopuses in the waters around Jersey, and people caught them by the ton. However, the freezing winter of 1962/63 massively reduced the population and now there are only isolated sightings of the smaller ruffled octopus and even fewer of the common octopus.

He believes the octopus Chris caught was about four times the weight of an average octopus caught by Jersey’s commercial fishing fleet each year.

“When we get these types of reports, especially from one of this size, there’s always the question of whether this is the start of something,” he said, adding that there’s “no obvious signs” that the species is large Scope returning to island waters would pay.”

Paul said squid have exceptional strength but are not dangerous to humans. They have caused problems with crabs, oysters and ormers in the past because they can get into cracks and crevices.

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