March 31 - April 6, 2024: Issue 620


'Occy' Taken By Fisher: North Narrabeen Aquatic Reserve Favourite octopus Now Gone

North Narrabeen residents report loved local octopus 'Occy' has been taken by a fisherman last week. The octopus, who locals would see in the tidal flats alongside the Narrabeen Rock Pool wall, has been killed - illegally.

To give you a bit of size, his head would fit in the palm of your hand, and his tentacles would reach to your elbow - so hardly a meal and possibly used as bait.

Photo: Occy, still enjoying life a week ago. Image supplied

Narrabeen Head Aquatic Reserve, which covers an area of approximately 10 hectares and includes the rocky shore between the southern end of Turimetta Beach and the rock baths at Narrabeen Head, and extends 100 m offshore, prohibits the collecting of cunjevoi or any marine invertebrates except abalone and rock lobster. 

Specifically fishers may not collect anemones, barnacles, chitons, cockles, crabs, mussels, octopus, oysters, pipis, sea urchins, starfish, snails and worms, whether they are dead or alive. 

Empty shells cannot be collected in the reserve because they provide homes for living organisms. Marine vegetation cannot be collected except for sea lettuce and bait weed.

Objectives for the Aquatic Reserve, which is clearly signposted as such before you enter that reserve, are to:
  • conserve the biodiversity of fish and marine vegetation
  • protect fish habitat
  • facilitate educational activities
  • facilitate scientific research
This site was an Intertidal Protected Area from 1993 to 2002.

Narrabeen Head Aquatic Reserve map. Image: NSW DPI

A companion octopus has been seen in recent weeks at the same location. It is hoped this one will survive the illegal activities of some fishers.

Occy's mate - photo taken this week. Image supplied

Residents are asked to be the voice for aquatic reserves and report:
  • Illegal or suspect fishing or collecting activities, or damage aquatic habitats, to the Fishers Watch Phoneline on 1800 043 536 or online
  • Water pollution or fish kills to the Environment Line 131 555.
  • Suspected aquatic pests or diseases to the Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) Hotline: 1800 675 888 or email
  • Injured or sick marine mammals, reptiles or seabirds to a licensed wildlife rehabilitation group or National Parks and Wildlife on 1300 072 757.

Photo supplied