Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Prints

Okay, this is a little weird:

This year’s Earth Day will again include the celebrated “squid printing” activity with two big, beautiful Pacific Humboldt squid donated from the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. We’ll be inking them up and laying them out on paper to create fascinating one-of-a- kind imprints of their bodies.

I don’t know what’s worse: that they’re making prints from squid bodies, or that they’re doing it “again.”

Posted on April 22, 2011 at 4:30 PM18 Comments


Petréa Mitchell April 22, 2011 5:23 PM

Considering it as an Earth Day activity, I think requiring an entire, apparently non-reusable, six-foot squid to make each artwork does not make it a great example of conservation.

mcb April 22, 2011 8:10 PM

Some day the squid will get to make celebratory body blots with big, beautiful human specimens for Cthulhu Day. One of a kind imprints of frail monkey bodies – by the millions – heaped upon the frightful stone city of R’lyeh…oh, the great speechless horror of it all! Cthulhu fhtagn!

JRR April 22, 2011 8:33 PM

It’s not like Humboldt squid need preserving. They multiply like locusts and are an increasing scourge in the oceans.

JRR April 22, 2011 11:53 PM

In point of fact, getting rid of a few Humboldt squids, or in fact a few million of them, actually would be an act of conservation. They’re multiplying out of control in some areas and causing havoc with food chains.

asd April 23, 2011 1:23 AM

@JRR, I would trust more of the diverse range of opinions than a couple at the top..more long term stable(short term pain,targeted,long term easy,blanket) than mass sized jails, were you,re never going to plug the holes

Andy April 23, 2011 2:26 AM

@asd Say what?

The Humboldt squid is a voracious eater and populations are moving farther north than they ever have in the past. It’s considered an invasive pest species here in the Pacific Northwest. Catch all you want, blot all you want, eat all you want. Aside from general objections about killing any animal for non-food purposes, there really is nothing wrong with this.

Andy April 23, 2011 2:47 AM

I just realized that some folks might consider the very act of painting a marine animal and printing it on paper to be weird. Fishprints are actually a common thing. I did them at school and daycamp several times as a child growing up in the San Francisco bay area.

Petréa Mitchell April 23, 2011 9:58 AM

The reason Humboldt squid are taking over the ecosystem in the east Pacific is that humans are keeping the numbers of vertebrate predator species artificially low. You want to cut down on the squid, set up marine reserves so those other stocks have a chance to recover.

Clive Robinson April 23, 2011 11:23 AM

@ John Hardin,

“Dangit. Lenin’s birthday”

Well as the squid in question is also known as “The Red Devil” I guess it’ quite appropriate.

@ Petréa Mitchell,

“You want to cut down on the squid, set up marine reserves so those other stocks have a chance to recover”

For many fish stocks it is sadly now to late for them to recover, especialy as some of them actually predated the squid eggs and very small young, which used to be a major contributer to keeping the Humboldt under control.

Apart from man and each other the only other preditor of the adult squid is wales that use them as not just food but their equivalent of drinking water.

I guess we had all beter get used to eating squid in large quantites (maybe we should get the Pope to declare squid as the only salt water “fish” for fridays). As the squid are eating all the other fish stocks in that region.

Maybe some one will discover how to get viable fuel from them or vulcanize them or some such, and thus make the Humbodt and endangered species within a generation (one can but hope).

Clive Robinson April 23, 2011 12:00 PM

Did anybody else notice that,

First the bit about squid, then a bit about “vegtable carving” then at the end,

“… and the Little Green Cyclo food truck will be on-site all day with delectable Vietnamese food”

Makes me wonder if they are “re-cycling”, anybody know any good Vietnamese recipes involving squid and vegtables?

@ John Hardin,

It might be some “communist founding fathers” birthday but here in England (the birth place of communism) April 23rd is our patron Saint’s day and as with a number of countries it’s St George.

But as Shakespeare so eloquently put it,

‘Follow your spirit; and upon this charge, Cry ” God ” for Harry! England and Saint George!!!’

[Often incorrectly muddeled up with ‘Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of War!’

Oody April 24, 2011 3:08 PM

This is just an extension of the Gyotaku fish print tradition. These are wonderful and actually quite hard to do properly.

It should be noted, however, that either killing or injuring another living being to celebrate Earth Day is a bit hypocritical.

Clive Robinson December 13, 2011 6:44 PM

OFF Topic:

An interesting article from New Scientist,–borrow-from-the-crowd.htm

Hidden in it is how certain forms of encryption may (and it’s an iffy may) enable such things as credit ratings to be achived on raw data without actually seeing the raw data.

So for instance the fact that you eat out once a week at a restaurant can be seen but not which restaurant. An example they give is you purchasing a book, the method of purchase of the book is shown but the title of the book is not as it might adversly effect your credit rating (ie a book on Alzhimers)

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