Tiny but deadly: Spike in blue-ringed octopus sightings sparks fear of invasion in Japan
by Lucy Craft
ENOSHIMA, Japan - As snack bars start to reopen and windsurfers drift back to this popular beach town south of Tokyo, few denizens are aware that they’re sharing real estate with one of the most lethal sea creatures known to man.
Enoshima is at the northern edge of habitat for the notorious blue-ringed octopus. Sightings have spiked in recent years, and armchair scientists have been quick to blame hotter ocean currents for unleashing a plague of the warm water-loving, eight-tentacled poison darts.
The Shizuoka Prefecture Fisheries Technology Center has done an informal survey of online sightings by recreational divers around the Izu Peninsula, further south, and says reports in that diver’s paradise alone jumped from less than 40 during 2006, to about 120 per year starting in 2007…