Occurs around shallow inshore reef areas out to deeper reef shelf areas up to 60 metres deep. Lives in rock crevices or forms burrows.
Octopus are usually taken by hand, gaff, line, net, bait trap or in rock lobster pots and rings. A popular recreational fishery for this large species exists in Eaglehawk Bay on the Tasman Peninsula when the moon and tide conditions are right. A predator of rock lobster, it is often taken in lobster pots.
Handle with caution as octopus have a mouth or beak at the centre point of its arms that can inflict a painful bite.
Octopus has low oil content and a delicious mild flavour. Its texture is similar to squid but denser. Most cooks prefer to tenderise it, then skin it. Suitable to bake, barbecue, fry and simmer. Popular pickled in the Greek style.
Recipe: Marinated Octopus Greek Style:
1 prepared octopus approx 1 kg, cut into bite sized pieces; 1 cup red wine vinegar; 1 tsp dried oregano or fresh oregano; ¼ cup sugar; 1 tsp salt; 1 lemon cut into 8 pieces; ½ cup olive oil; 2 tbsp lemon juice; lettuce leaves, black olives, cucumber slices, tomato wedges.
Place octopus in large glass jar. Bring vinegar, oregano, sugar and salt to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour over octopus, add lemon and oil. Marinate for 24 hours. Drain well and toss in oil and lemon juice. Place in lettuce leaves and decorate with black olives, cucumber slices and tomato wedges.