Friday Squid Blogging: Unusually Large Numbers of Squid in the Bering Sea

No explanation given, but it’s annoying fishermen:

The problem took on alarming proportions in early July when fishermen netted more than 500 tons of squid bycatch in one week, Josh Keaton, a resource management specialist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, said Friday.

The amount of squid was about four times what might be expected.

“We confirmed that the numbers were real and they really did catch that amount of squid. We then tried to find out where the squid were caught,” Keaton said.

While high rates of squid bycatch had occurred before, this time it set off alarm bells because the squid were caught near the start of the mid-June-through-September pollock season.

“I just about had a heart attack. That is a lot of squid,” said Karl Haflinger, president of Sea State Inc. of Seattle, which helps the industry manage bycatch, the unwanted and often wasted fish caught along with the targeted fish.

Posted on July 28, 2006 at 3:37 PM14 Comments


Davi Ottenheimer July 28, 2006 3:53 PM

“As evidence mounts of possible global warming and overfishing, there may be a flip side to the dire news: an abundance of calamari.


“For shallow water species, warming temperatures is likely to expand their range and speed up their growth,” said George Jackson, a squid expert at the University of Tasmania.


Jackson recently estimated the total body mass of the animals has already exceeded that of humans on Earth.”

Carmudgeon July 28, 2006 4:17 PM

Karl needs to get a more mellow job. Something that won’t startle him into having a heart attack so easily. Gorton’s Squid Sticks anyone?

David July 28, 2006 5:30 PM

Sure, there may be more squid in the Bering Sea, but all that means is that they’ll have longer lines at airport security when they come here to visit Disney-world to get away from the overcrowded conditions.

At least they won’t be delayed by having to take off 8 shoes each.

As I understand it, it’s rare for any Cephalopods to wear shoes. I’ve only seen Henry the Octopus wear shoes (from the Wiggles) and I doubt that the trend has crossed over to the non-musician squid culture.

Mord July 28, 2006 5:45 PM

Of all the global warming consequences I worry about, an abundance of things I can eat is not one of them.

Kerub July 29, 2006 10:22 AM

in Italy now they are airing Invasion.
may be last year in US you had the chanche to see that story: alien squid in the everglades…

Question July 30, 2006 12:52 PM

@ Bruce

Could you please give a short statement on the facination of squid. To a newcomer it is not entirely clear what kind of security threat, these aggressive “killer”-squids are.

Perhaps we are talking about a specialt terrorist-subspecies?

Olaf T. Hairy July 31, 2006 4:18 AM

“The watery, gooey squid also are plugging up the trawlers’ huge pollock nets”

They don’t sound like they would be very tasty squid.

derf July 31, 2006 9:11 AM

It’s obviously a plot by the indiginous fish to overload the nets with bycatch to discourage the fishermen. The nets just need better species identification systems to ensure only the target fish are caught.

K. Signal Eingang July 31, 2006 4:36 PM

@ Question

At least the squid articles here are more informative than the security articles on CephList… I guess that counts for something.

This is old news, though – squid population has been skyrocketing for a few years now, with no shortage of speculation as to why… Everybody agrees it’s a sign of the Apocalypse of course, but the jury’s still out on whether it’s global warming, Cthulhu rising, or something worse.

Anonymous August 1, 2006 12:57 AM

@ Question

Bruce shouldn’t have to explain himself every week! If I understand his previous posts on the subject, it comes down to this:

Bruce a) owns this blog and b) likes squid.

‘Nuff said.

(As it happens, some of us readers look forward to the weekly cephalopod updates, too. 🙂

Davi Ottenheimer August 9, 2006 12:14 AM

Similar story about jellyfish:

“Thousands of holidaymakers in the Mediterranean have been stung by jellyfish as huge swarms of the creatures invade coastal waters.


‘Probably because of overfishing, populations of jellyfish offshore will increase and then these special environmental conditions… higher temperatures and higher salinity near the coast, may bring these swarms of jellyfish close to the beach,’ [Francesc Peters of the Institute of Marine Science in Barcelona] said.

Overfishing meant that the jellyfish’s predators and its competitors were being removed from the sea, he said.”

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