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    Another Banner Year for Market Squid
    By Danna Staaf | November 14th 2011 09:07 PM | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Danna

    Cephalopods have been rocking my world since I was in grade school. I pursued them through a BA in marine biology at the University of California...

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    The California market squid fishery is about to be closed for the second time in its entire history.

    That may sound bad, but it's actually a sign of a booming business. The annual quota for market squid is 118,000 tonnes, a number so high that for years no one was sure it would ever be reached. But just last year, an abundance of squid led the fishery to be closed on December 17th, and this year it's due to close a month earlier: November 18th.

    It's worth remembering that this fishery follows a boom-and-bust cycle, and the science behind the squid is poorly understood. Last year I interviewed two squid scientists (former co-workers of mine) for an article in the Monterey Weekly, and came away with this:
    Stewart and Gilly don’t find it reassuring that the squid reappeared after years of absence. They see this year’s haul as evidence of how little is known of the species’ biology. “How could it be zero for three years, and then we hit the catch limit?” says Stewart. “We just have no idea.”