Squid is abundant and sustainable, not to mention quite delicious, making it one of the most valuable fisheries in the Monterey Bay. Their lives are relatively short, about two years, and they die after reproducing, which should send a strong message to their kin to stay away from the opposite sex for as long as possible. This message apparently falls on deaf ears.
Squid are caught at night with fishermen targeting their spawning grounds as the best place to catch them, especially after spawning. Shining bright lights down into the water, the squid are attracted to the light and the net soon encircles them. The next thing you know, it’s calamari. Perhaps this is where the idea of “head toward the light” at the time of death came from…
Since the population of squid is believed to replace itself annually, squid is a very popular and profitable catch and is overseen by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Using dollars as a measure stick, the market squid far exceeds any other fish caught in the Bay, including the King Salmon, by a very wide margin, according to California Wet Fish, a non-profit that monitors the business of fishing.
Squid can be a bit chewy, but has a mild, slightly sweet taste. Slightly higher in fat than other fish, squid is an excellent source of protein, and due to its short life it also is low in contaminants.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch rates the market squid as a “Good alternative” but rates squid imported from China and Thailand as an “avoid.”
In Season at the Market