The marine biology community in Ireland is gripped with excitement at the news that a Giant Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) has been spotted in Lahinch bay and has taken up residence on the edge of Kilstiffen Reef. Normally resident in equatorial waters in the Atlantic and Pacific, it is extremely rare for these creatures to visit Ireland. This is only the second recorded sighting on our shores since 1800.
The multi-limbed sea creature, was first spotted, in late February, by Liscannor fishermen, while they were checking their lobster pots. Since then multiple sightings have been reported and the location of its residence, on the south western corner of Kilstiffen Reef, has been confirmed. The Marine Institute of Ireland have established a semi permanent observation post on a re-purposed Irish navy "corvette" (the smallest of the navy's ships).
Not wanting to miss a unique opportunity to view this magnificent beast, Dive Academy are planning a dive trip in the first week of April to swim with our tentacled friend. If you would like to join us there are a few precautions to bear in mind:
- No bright colours; fins, masks and, of course, wetsuits/drysuits must be black or grey; we are even painting all DA air tanks a dark grey in preparation.
- Please refrain from eating or handling fish, or any form of seafood, for at least 72 hours prior to the dive; the aroma would stimulate the feeding function in the octopus, causing potential danger to divers.
- Only divers in peak fitness should join us - although uncommon, the octopus may try to wrap a diver in one of its tentacles - if you are fit, with strong muscle mass it is not too difficult to withstand the squeeze, but for those out of shape this could result in severe bruising or even cracked ribs.
If you feel you can manage all the above and want to share in this unique opportunity please reserve your place HERE.