Where does the world’s largest octopus live? We are told in The Sea Among Us, by D. Beamish and S. McFarlane (Harbour Publishing), that it lives in the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia. There are also 223 fish species and over 350 marine plant species in this strait between Vancouver Island and the mainland -- and all are in danger. Pollution, city outfalls, plastic debris and fishing lines, over-fishing, fuel leakage from transport, cruise and recreational boats and ferries, underwater noise, military naval activity, increasing tanker traffic – all threaten fish habitat and the personal lives of the marine mammals who call the strait home.
The growing cities of Victoria and Vancouver (and its port) spew out wastes plus human traffic, and since governments are encouraging rather than limiting growth these assaults are bound to get worse even as the governments cut back on the environmental departments that could monitor them. People stream in from the cold Prairies and Eastern Canada as well as from the rest of the world, finding this mild and nature-filled region a paradise – thereby eroding it. It’s not the world’s biggest octopus that is putting out the strangling tentacles.