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Danna StaafRSS Feed of this column.

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, Santa Barbara, followed by a PhD dissertation at... Read More »

It's hard to answer definitively without specifying: healthy for whom? Healthy for people, seems to be yes. Healthy for the oceans, seems to be kinda maybe. It's absolutely a better choice than orange roughy or shark! Here, in the third and final part, I consider the question: Healthy for the squid?

Well, duh. Definitely not. They're getting eaten.
Having considered Humboldt squid consumption from the public (human) health perspective, let's try judging it for environmental health.

If Humboldts are truly an invasive species, then it should be good for the environment to eat them. They seem to like eating a lot of the same fish that humans do, so their invasion provides unwelcome competition. Some folks are thinking it might not be a bad idea to open a commerical fishery for Humboldts, just to reduce their ecological (and economical) impact!
Now that we're all convinced the Humboldt squid isn't going to eat you, let's turn the question around: can you eat the Humboldt squid?

First, from the public health angle: Does it have mercury, everyone wants to know about any seafood, quickly followed by, I don't want nasty parasites.
Can I make a nomination for this year's tiredest news metaphor? Goldman Sachs as a giant vampire squid. I am still getting "squid" news hits about banking. BORING!

Today's was the most disappointing headline yet: Let's milk the squid, not murder it!
I guess it doesn't show up on my blog automatically, but I decree that my contest entry counts as today's Squid-A-Day. So there!
By Danna Staaf | October 15th 2009 02:42 PM | Print | E-mail
Autumn has arrived, bringing firework foliage, delicious squash, and, at least in the Pacific Northwest, an invasion of squid.

Humboldt or jumbo squid, sometimes mistakenly called giant squid, are grabbing fishing lures and washing up on beaches from Oregon to British Columbia. As a marine biologist fielding questions from reporters and citizens, my heart always sinks when I hear the inevitable query--delivered with a mixture of horror and fascination--"They eat people, right?"

I've decided that Humboldt squid really need better PR. Ten years ago, they weren't on anyone's radar. Today, they're accused of eating fishermen and divers and branded a dangerously invasive species from California to Canada. Talk about giving the new kid a hard time!