In this case, it's an article called Santa loves Calamari. Well-intentioned, but wrong. The premise of the piece is that "squid is the new sustainable holiday seafood" based on information like:
How much squid is out there? Around the world, squid mass is estimated to outweigh the human population.This is a classic problem of lumping. There are a lot of different kinds of squid, just like there are a lot of different kinds of fish. There may be a whole lot of fish in the ocean, but certain species of fish can still be overexploited or endangered. (Like orange roughy.) When you lump too many different things together, you end up with obvious contraditions like this:
Squid have been so abundant along the coast of California that the state Department of Fish and Game reports its annual limit of 118,000 tons was taken three months early. Marine biologists credit a rush of colder-than-normal water for the banner year; usually February is prime time.Emphasis mine. With the use of the word "some" they've hinted at the fact that different squid respond differently to temperature, but it's just a hint, and honestly this pair of paragraphs is pretty confusing.
Squid in places like Alaska and Siberia are booming thanks to a slight rise in sea temperatures. Many squid, octopi, and other sucker-bearing members of the cephalopod family appear untroubled by the minor increase. In fact, when it's a little warmer, some thrive.
From the point of view of sustainability, the fact that changes in temperatures can affect different squid in different ways is actually concerning rather than reassuring--it means that for most species, we don't actually know how they will respond to future changes. That means it's hard to predict how many of them we can eat and still leave enough to reproduce future generations.
Not too surprisingly, the article closes with egregious, but by now standard errors about Humboldt squid. First of all, they call them giant squid, which is wrong, and then:
Giant squid also have giant appetites. They're making a big hit on salmon, for example, reducing the amount of the pink fleshy fish for human tables.WHAT. Yes, it is true that scientists have found evidence that Humboldt squid can eat salmon. But we have no data on how many salmon they're eating, and no knowledge of whether it's impacting the fishery. Just hold your horses, people!
And of course, my favorite:
The giant squid are also a menace to divers. They are both aggressive and carnivorous, a mean combo when the tentacles of one of the rust-colored, 6-foot-long creatures latches onto your air tank, or leg.Why yes, I believe I've debunked this myth before.
However! I happily concede the article's main point that squid are probably a better choice than oysters. But you know what would be an even better choice than squid? Wild-caught Alaska salmon, or US-farmed tilapia.
Or mushrooms. Seriously, mushrooms are delicious.