NewsProtecting Paradise


Octopus trap from West Africa washes ashore on Juno Beach, marine experts say

Posted at 4:19 PM, May 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-27 17:20:23-04

WPTV is committed to Protecting Paradise. We are focused on environmental issues with a goal of helping to bring awareness to existing problems and search for workable solutions. Have a story idea? Email us at

It takes commitment to keep our oceans clean, and many of you are doing your part. So much so that Loggerhead Marinelife Center is now learning about the origin of some plastic containers that were found on Juno Beach.

🐙 SPECIAL COVERAGE: Protecting Paradise 🐙

"When we first found them, we didn’t really realize what they were," said Katie O'Hara, Conservation Coordinator at Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

The black container, which looks like a plastic bin, is actually an octopus trap. O'Hara said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation researched its origin.

"They were able to trace them back to West Africa specifically," said O'Hara.

Halfway around the world, the plastic container is used to lure octopi underneath the surface of the water. O'Hara said it's for the most part still in one piece.

"When plastic enters the ocean it will never ever go away, so it just breaks down over time into smaller and smaller pieces," said O'Hara.

It's those plastic pieces that pose a threat to marine life. O'Hara said 100 percent of post-hatchling turtles that end up at the hospital have plastic in their stomachs. O'Hara added finding the plastic octopus trap means there is still a lot of educating to do around the globe.

Here in Florida, locals are doing their part.

"We caught today about a 50-foot piece of line that had a rig on it still and a piece of weight," said John Lupoli, who was fishing with his boys at the Juno Beach Pier on Monday. "We took that off, we disposed of it. They have containers here."

Lupoli brought his sons out for the experience, but also to teach them the importance of taking care of our paradise.

"Unfortunately, some people think of it as a trash can," Lupoli said. "It's a huge source of tourism for us and for kids to be able to get away from their screens, from their iPads and come out here. It's fantastic way to to raise them."

Loggerhead Marinelife Center sorts and records every piece of trash collected during beach clean-ups. If you find anything like the octopus trap or other unique items, they want to know about it. Contact LMC at 561-627-8280.