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[SIZE=-1]Q: I need to know if it's legal to collect a pair of octopus for a private aquarium. I would like to use scuba to collect them in the Monterey/Santa Cruz ...[/SIZE]
Inspite of the title, there is a relavent Q and A:
Q: I need to know if it's legal to collect a pair of octopus for a private aquarium. I would like to use scuba to collect them in the Monterey/Santa Cruz area.
— Jason K., Santa Cruz
A: Octopus can be collected for a home aquarium and transported live under the authority of a sport fishing license as long as they are exclusively for that person's personal aquarium display. Maintaining live sport-taken octopus in a home aquarium is not considered public "display," so it does not fall under the provisions of the marine aquaria pet trade. Transporting live "finfish" (as opposed to mollusks and crustaceans) is prohibited, however.
Invertebrates collected under the authority of a sport fishing license cannot be used to establish breeding colonies for sale or trade with other people. Any trading, selling or possession for sale of these animals constitutes commercial pet trade activity and requires all parties to have "marine aquaria collectors permits." A marine collector's permit is also required for any animals on display for the public.
Octopus cannot be taken from places where it is prohibited (for example, in a marine protected area) or via scuba north of Yankee Point (Monterey County), which would rule out the Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay area.