Wait, what? Don't we know, like, almost nothing about colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltonii)? How could we have any idea whether they need protection or not?

On the other hand, the fact that we've seen so few individuals rather suggests that there aren't that many of them to begin with. As with any scarce resource, perhaps caution is the better part of valor . . . or something like that. I might be getting my aphorisms mixed up.

Anyway, colossal squid are on the list of animals to be protected by a proposed Antarctic marine reserve, reports Bonnie Malkin in The Telegraph:
The Antarctic Ocean Alliance, made up of a number of conservation groups including Greenpeace, wants 19 parts of the southern seas to be declared "no take zones", where industrial fishing is banned.
The move would protect 10,000 species, including emperor penguins, minke and killer whales, seals, krill and colossal squid, in regions ranging from the Ross Sea and the Antarctic Peninsula to the Weddell Sea.
Currently, the Antarctic land mass is protected under law, but the waters that surround it, which are teeming with rare marine life, are not.
Sounds like a bit of a pipe dream to me. Given the current prevalence of illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing in areas of the ocean that are much more amenable to policing, it's hard to imagine that such a reserve could be practically enforced.

Well, here is a colossal squid, just to remind you how crazy big they are:


photo credit: Ministry of Fisheries, New Zealand