According to wikipedia
, octopus wrestling "involves a diver grappling with a large octopus in shallow water and dragging it to the surface."
) provides some more details:
Two things work for the hunters. The octopus is basically timid, and divers work in teams. One man goes down (about 50 feet) and tries to force an octopus from his cave. When he comes up for air, the second man goes down and tries to pry the octopus loose from the rocks. If he's not up in 30 seconds, the third man goes down. They don't harm the animals. They just weigh them and throw them back in. Why do they do it? Well, why not?