Stories tagged Humboldt squid

Jul
25
2007

Squid attack: This squid is a shrimpy two feet long, but monster squid are being found off the coast of central California, eating up the marine life that is vital to the fishing economy of the area. (Photo from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
Squid attack: This squid is a shrimpy two feet long, but monster squid are being found off the coast of central California, eating up the marine life that is vital to the fishing economy of the area. (Photo from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
Jumbo shrimp is one of those oxymorons that still crack me up.

Jumbo squid now being seen off the coast of central California don’t have anybody laughing.

Humboldt squid, which can grow up to 7 feet long and weigh more than 110 pounds, are gobbling up the anchovy, hake and or commercial fish schools that are a vital part of that area’s economy.

That type of squid used to only be found in the warmer, equatorial waters of the Pacific. But over the past decade and half, they’ve been spreading out to cooler climates and seem to be hitting central California especially hard.

Sounds like another example of global warming, right? Not so fast.

The chief reason behind the squid migration is probably food supply. They’re adapting to the cooler waters due to other fishing practices, researchers say.

Predators of the Humboldt squid are primarily tuna and swordfish. As their numbers have dropped due to high fishing pressures in the northern Pacific, the squid now have more room to roam to find their own food, researchers say. And with the new territory, they’re acquiring a taste for new aquatic species as well.

Planning to take a California vacation yet this summer? Don’t worry about a squid attack on you. Despite their large size, these jumbo squid are still pretty low on the food chain and have no interest in consuming humans, or any other mammals for that matter.