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Posts Tagged squid season

Dec 9 2014

Northern California lands large share of state’s robust market squid catch

 Seafood News

Published with permission of SEAFOODNEWS.COM

[Monterey Herald] By James Urton – December 8, 2014 –

The squid fishery in California remains robust, and this year’s catch has been unusually strong in Monterey Bay. In a typical season only about 20 percent of market squid are caught off Northern California. But this squid season — which runs from April to March — more than half of the state’s catch have come from north and central coast waters.

“We really had quite a banner year,” said Monterey harbormaster Stephen Scheiblauer.

By initial estimates, at least 75 percent of the Northern California squid catch came from waters in and around Monterey Bay. Scientists and squid fishermen do not fully understand the reason for this flip.

“For Monterey, it was amazing,” said Diane Pleschner-Steele, executive director of the California Wetfish Producers Association.

There have been other seasons where Northern California outshone Southern California in squid hauls. But, since 1980, all of those years have preceded or fallen during El Nino climate shifts, which bring warm water to the California coast, starting with Southern California and moving north. It’s believed squid follow the cooler water.

“These squid really respond to ocean conditions,” said Pleschner-Steele.

The state is not currently in an El Nino pattern. But, it is possible that recent El Nino-like shifts in ocean conditions drove market squid farther north.

“The last couple of years, especially in Northern California, have been good for squid,” said Neil Guglielmo, captain of the 70-foot fishing vessel Triumphal.

Since squid season began April 1, commercial boats have hauled nearly 60,000 tons of market squid through Northern California ports, with a dock value of approximately $38.3 million. This is the largest squid season north of Point Conception in history and more than double the previous record set in the 2002-03 season. This year, Eureka reported its first squid landings.

“We fished squid this year where we never fished before,” said Guglielmo.

For much of this season, Guglielmo took the Triumphal from its home port near Ventura up the coast to Monterey and points farther north to haul in squid. He reported squid as far north as Crescent City.

“We just followed them up there,” said Guglielmo. “There was so much squid.”

This season was also a record for Monterey Bay, with an estimated 45,000 tons of squid caught in its waters, according to marine biologist Briana Brady with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

These record hauls also bring welcome economic benefits to ports. The local squid industry supports approximately 1,500 seasonal and full-time jobs, according to Scheiblauer. Ten squid fishing boats are based in Moss Landing and Monterey. In addition to landing fees at wharfs and the dock value of catches, the squid season brings economic benefits in the form of room and board for crew, fuel for boats, ice, cold storage facilities, transportation and processing for each boat’s catch. The Monterey area includes three resident buyers for squid.

“They’re still a big part of our culture and economy,” Scheiblauer said.

Ample food supplies and undisturbed spawning grounds help sustain market squid along the California coast. But, based on past squid fishing seasons, their numbers can still fluctuate along 10- to 15-year cycles, according to Brady.

Market squid are relatively small, often measuring about a foot in length, and prefer to eat small invertebrates, plankton or each other. Their short six- to 10-month lifespan makes it difficult for biologists to estimate the size of the entire market squid population off California to manage the fishery sustainably.

Instead, beginning in the last decade, regulators crafted a squid fishery management policy around a handful of core regulations. No more than 118,000 tons of squid can be harvested in California waters during the annual season. This limit was based off annual squid harvests in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“We’re happy with that maximum cap,” said Pleschner-Steele. “It’s a good, conservative number.”

The state also uses a limited-entry permit system for squid fishing to control the number of fishing boats in California waters. In addition, marine-protected areas in Southern California and Monterey Bay keep approximately one-third of squid spawning grounds along the coast off limits to fishing. Finally, no commercial vessel may fish for squid between noon Friday and noon Sunday. This weekly moratorium gives squid in non-protected areas opportunities to spawn, according to Scheiblauer.

As of Nov. 20, the statewide catch for market squid is nearly 115,000 tons. Since the maximum squid harvest cannot exceed 118,000 tons, this season is drawing to an early close. Under a voluntary co-management agreement between the squid fishing industry and Fish and Wildlife, larger fishing vessels ceased harvesting squid last month so smaller boats can “mop up” the remaining allotment of squid.

Based on reports from squid fishermen, this year there will still be plenty of squid left behind. But, in the wake of this season’s unusual squid bounty for Northern California, no one is willing to predict what might be in store for next year. In two previous El Nino cycles, desolate squid harvests in Northern California followed one or two years of largesse.

“You could have a boom year like this year and next year there’ll be nothing,” said Scheiblauer.

But, even after those turbulent oscillations, the squid fishery stabilized around a sustainable mean. That long-term trend gives others cause for cautious optimism.

“If the water doesn’t go crazy,” said Guglielmo, “I think we’ll be fine.”


Subscribe and read the original article at SEAFOODNEWS.COM

Dec 8 2014

Squid harvest has been bountiful in Monterey Bay

logo-extra-large

Fans of calamari have much to be thankful for this holiday season.

The squid fishery in California remains robust, and this year’s catch has been unusually strong in Monterey Bay. In a typical season only about 20 percent of market squid are caught off Northern California. But this squid season – which runs from April to March – more than half of the state’s catch have come from north and central coast waters.

“We really had quite a banner year,” said Monterey harbormaster Stephen Scheiblauer.

By initial estimates, at least 75 percent of the northern California squid catch came from waters in and around Monterey Bay. Scientists and squid fishermen do not fully understand the reason for this flip.

“For Monterey, it was amazing,” said Diane Pleschner-Steele, executive director of the California Wetfish Producers Association.

There have been other seasons where northern California outshone southern California in squid hauls. But, since 1980, all of those years have preceded or fallen during El Nino climate shifts, which bring warm water to the California coast, starting with southern California and moving north. It’s believed squid follow the cooler water.

“These squid really respond to ocean conditions,” said Pleschner-Steele.

The state is not currently in an El Nino pattern. But, it is possible that recent El Nino-like shifts in ocean conditions drove market squid further north.

“The last couple of years, especially in northern California, have been good for squid,” said Neil Guglielmo, captain of the 70-foot fishing vessel Triumphal.

Since squid season began April 1, commercial boats have hauled nearly 60,000 tons of market squid through northern California ports, with a dock value of approximately $38.3 million. This is the largest squid season north of Point Conception in history and more than double the previous record set in the 2002-2003 season. This year, Eureka reported its first squid landings.

“We fished squid this year where we never fished before,” said Guglielmo.

For much of this season, Guglielmo took the Triumphal from its home port near Ventura up the coast to Monterey and points further north to haul in squid. He reported squid as far north as Crescent City.

“We just followed them up there,” said Guglielmo. “There was so much squid.”

This season was also a record for Monterey Bay, with an estimated 45,000 tons of squid caught in its waters, according to marine biologist Briana Brady with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

These record hauls also bring welcome economic benefits to ports. The local squid industry supports approximately 1,500 seasonal and full-time jobs, according to Scheiblauer. Ten squid fishing boats are based in Moss Landing and Monterey. In addition to landing fees at wharfs and the dock value of catches, the squid season brings economic benefits in the form of room and board for crew, fuel for boats, ice, cold storage facilities, transportation and processing for each boat’s catch. The Monterey area includes three resident buyers for squid.

“They’re still a big part of our culture and economy,” Scheiblauer said.

Ample food supplies and undisturbed spawning grounds help sustain market squid along the California coast. But, based on past squid fishing seasons, their numbers can still fluctuate along 10-15 year cycles, according to Brady.

Market squid are relatively small, often measuring about a foot in length, and prefer to eat small invertebrates, plankton or each other. Their short 6-10 month lifespan makes it difficult for biologists to estimate the size of the entire market squid population off of California to manage the fishery sustainably.

Instead, beginning in the last decade, regulators crafted a squid fishery management policy around a handful of core regulations. No more than 118,000 tons of squid can be harvested in California waters during the annual season. This limit was based off of annual squid harvests in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“We’re happy with that maximum cap,” said Pleschner-Steele. “It’s a good, conservative number.”

The state also uses a limited-entry permit system for squid fishing to control the number of fishing boats in California waters. In addition, marine protected areas in southern California and Monterey Bay keep approximately one-third of squid spawning grounds along the coast off limits to fishing. Finally, no commercial vessel may fish for squid between noon Friday and noon Sunday. This weekly moratorium gives squid in non-protected areas opportunities to spawn, according to Scheiblauer.

As of Nov. 20, the statewide catch for market squid is nearly 115,000 tons. Since the maximum squid harvest cannot exceed 118,000 tons, this season is drawing to an early close. Under a voluntary co-management agreement between the squid fishing industry and Fish and Wildlife, larger fishing vessels ceased harvesting squid last month so smaller boats can “mop up” the remaining allotment of squid.

Based on reports from squid fishermen, this year there will still be plenty of squid left behind. But, in the wake of this season’s unusual squid bounty for northern California, no one is willing to predict what might be in store for next year. In two previous El Nino cycles, desolate squid harvests in northern California followed one or two years of largesse.

“You could have a boom year like this year and next year there’ll be nothing,” said Scheiblauer.

But, even after those turbulent oscillations, the squid fishery stabilized around a sustainable mean. That long-term trend gives others cause for cautious optimism.

“If the water doesn’t go crazy,” said Guglielmo, “I think we’ll be fine.”

James Urton can be reached at 726-4453.


Read original article here.

Oct 25 2014

$quid Inc. 2014 — Video by Jason Crosby

squidVideo by Jason Crosby (YouTube).

Squid fishing in Monterey Ca. Lots of boats, lots of squid.

Sep 13 2014

Squid fishing debuts on North Coast

timesstandardlogoPosted:  09/11/2014 11:21 PM

Squid fishing boats docked in Eureka for the first time Thursday, unloading 124,000 pounds of squid at the Fisherman’s Terminal.

Commercial squid fishermen from Southern California were drawn to the North Coast by following squid that were driven out of their typical habitat by a rise in ocean water temperatures, said Jeff Huffman, Eureka dock manager with Wild Planet, who helped to facilitate the docking and unloading of the squid boats.

With few squid left in their typical fishing zones this year, Southern California Sea Food, Inc., has been moving up the coast. On Wednesday, two boats fished in the area between the mouth of the Mad River and the False Cape, south of the Eel River, bringing the first boat into the dock at 2 a.m. Thursday and the second at 7:30 a.m., Huffman said.

“The squid fishery has always been a Southern California fishery, but because of the  warm water down south the squid are all up here,” he said. “There have always been some squid here, but not in these numbers.”

Unusual patterns in the Pacific Ocean have shifted water temperatures, creating unusually warm water both to the north and south of California’s North Coast, said Eric Bjorkstedt, research fishery biologist with NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center and an adjunct professor in Humboldt State University’s fisheries biology department.

The temperatures have not grown warmer off the Northern California coast, which appears on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration maps that track water temperatures as one of the only places along the West Coast that does not appear dark red — the color that indicates warming waters.

While this is not a typical El Nino year, Bjorkstedt said some patterns are consistent with the weather phenomena’s conditions.

“Normally in an El Nino, market squid do very badly — usually the catches go nearly to zero,” he said. “The reproductive success is not high, and the squid industry basically crashes for that year.”

Squid populations could be shifting north because of a change in water temperatures or shifting closer to shore because they are following a shift in nutrients and food supply, said Jeffrey Abell, chairman of HSU’s oceanography department.

Shifts in weather patterns and climate causes water temperatures and ocean nutrients patterns to change, he said.

“It manifests the shifts in ocean circulation, which alters the input of nutrients into the ecosystem, and then the organism responds to that and moves into a range where it is not usually found,” Abell said.

Either way, there is an unprecedented number of squid off the North Coast, Huffman said.

Southern California Sea Food, Inc., hopes to bring in 300 tons of squid every 24 hours, and the squid is then transported in trucks to Monterey, where it is processed at a company plant, he said.

Huffman added the company is limited by the number of squid that they can process, unload and truck, but not by the amount of squid in the bay.

“I think they can definitely catch more than we can actually get through the place and shipped out,” he said.

By Sunday the company will have five boats in the area, and they are hoping to continuing fishing here for two to three weeks, Huffman said.

Having the fishermen in town will be a boost for the local economy, he said, as the crew of more than a dozen people stays in local hotels, eats, shops, buys fuel and pays for moorings at the marina.

“This is a great plus to the whole waterfront and the town,” Huffman said.

The goal of the Fisherman’s Terminal was to bring in this type of business, he said. The dock is typically used for processing crab, salmon and some other fish, but being able to unload squid there adds another avenue for profit.

“It is a unique opportunity for the city to use its loading dock. Normally this isn’t something that we get to do,” said Eureka Councilwoman Marian Brady.

“It is all money that is coming back into our economy,” she said. “We definitely need industry, and this is a form of commerce that uses our bay for its purpose. We built all this infrastructure, and it hasn’t been used optimally.”

The city is working on plans to get a cold storage facility in town to keep even more of the business local, she said. All the squid is currently being taken out of town to be processed.

“But these three to five ships that are in here, that is adding a spurt to our economy,” she said.

This is a positive development for the economy and the city, said Ken Bates of the Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association.

“This activity at Fisherman’s Terminal is exactly the kind of thing we were hoping to see in Eureka when this facility was built,” he said. “It’s exciting.”

render


Read original post here.

Sep 3 2014

Monterey Wharf Walks: The Story of Squid

wharfPhoto: Ashley Tedesco

Amble out on a story-packed stroll, one that considers the town’s seafaring history.

| By Alysia Gray Painter |  Saturday, Aug 30, 2014  |

 

SQUID IN THE SPOTLIGHT: It’s sometimes difficult to narrow down what natural focus a town might have regarding the wildness that surrounds it. Sure, you could say that Klamath has strong ties to the redwoods and Big Sur to the condors, but most places snug against water or forest aren’t all that associated with a specific bit of nature above all others in the region. Monterey, though, is associated with quite a few. Whales, yes, otters, yes, sardines, yes, the Monterey Cypress, yes. And squid? We’ll wager that it is a rare day when the tentacled Pacific denizen tops otters and sardines in the list of “wildlife or natural wonders with Monterey cred,” but squidly creatures do have old connections to the Bay-close city. Squid fishing was once a prominent industry, and Monterey Bay Fisheries Historian Tim Thomas is considering it in all of its historic and fascinating context during two upcoming Wharf Walks. They’re set to set out on Saturday, Sept. 6 and Saturday, Oct. 4.

BUT SQUID-ORIENTED FACTS… aren’t the only thing on the table: calamari is, quite literally. Going with a “sea-to-table” theme, the Paluca Trattoria of Old Fisherman’s Wharf will serve Wharf Walk participants a “complimentary calamari appetizer” after the stories wrap. How often do we head out into a history-rich to-do only to end it with an edible related to the stories at hand? Not often enough. A bonus treat: Possible napping seals or sea lions off Finger Pier. Calamari, squid history, and snoozing seals? Yeah, that’s major Monterey cred right there.

TO FOLLOW… all of the upcoming Wharf Walks, keep an eye on the Fisherman’s Wharf page. And never fear, otters: You know you hold a special spot as the de facto fuzzy-faced ambassador of the M.B. area, but squids have played their role, too. Time to give them their briny due.

Copyright NBC Owned Television Stations

 

Read the original post here.

Jun 12 2014

Monterey Bay: Squid fishermen having boom year

20140605__mch-l-squidcutline-0606~1_GALLERY(Vern Fisher – Monterey Herald)

Squid fishermen are enjoying an outstanding season so far on Monterey Bay, where the water was crowded Thursday with 28 boats. The season opened on April 1. “It’s a 12-month season, but it’s limited by what’s called a max cap, meaning there’s a maximum amount of tonnage that can be taken,” said Monterey Harbormaster Stephen Scheiblauer. “Sometimes they’ll fish all year and never reach that max cap, but the last couple of years have been boom years for squid, and they’ve reached it fairly early. And this year, so far, has been dynamite, which is why we have all of those boats out there right now.”


Original post: Monterey Herald

Oct 26 2013

Boom Times for Squid Fishery

The Santa Barbara Independent

For the fourth year in a row ​— ​and with the fastest time ever since modern regulations began in 2005 ​— ​California’s squid-fishing fleet (pictured) hit its annual limit early, with the more than 100 permitted boats landing about 118,000 tons of the slimy species known as Doryteuthis opalescens by October 18, nearly six months before the season ends on March 31, 2014. Much of that haul came from boats working the Channel Islands and Gaviota Coast with bright lights at night, when it’s easiest to snag the squid as they spawn near the shoreline. From there, the Southern California boats deliver their loads to processing centers in Ventura, Port Hueneme, and San Pedro, which then freeze the squid and ship most of them to China. Together with the squid fishers up north in the Monterey Bay, the industry rakes in about $70 million annually.

“They’re the most valuable fishery in the state of California,” said Diane Pleschner-Steele, the Buellton-based director of the California Wetfish Producers Association, which represents commercial fishermen who catch squid, mackerel, sardine, and anchovy. “This was an unusual year. They were spawning way early and everywhere at the same time,” she explained, noting that her association’s research revealed more young squid in August than they usually see in the peak winter season. “It’s a phenomenon we haven’t seen before.”

Another twist this year was that the fishermen and processing centers were enlisted to help track the catch, filing reports daily so that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife would know how much fish was being harvested and wouldn’t shut the season early, as had been done in years past. “We were able to help the department and also maximize the value of the fishery,” said Pleschner-Steele, whose association spearheaded the unique relationship and one day hopes for electronic tracking. “It’s an uncommon partnership.”

Read the full article here.

Oct 22 2013

Squid season closes as fishery reaches harvest limit early

After a banner year, squid season ended at noon Friday.

That’s when the California Department of Fish and Wildlife expected fishermen to reach the seasonal harvest limit of 118,000 tons. The department tracks catches and closes the season when the limit is reached.

This year marked the earliest closure since the harvest limit was imposed in 2005. The fishery has reached the limit for the past several years, but not until November or December. A new season starts each April.

While squid fishing tends to have its busiest months during the fall and winter in Southern California, that changed this year.

“The squid showed up early in the summer months in Southern California,” said Briana Brady, a senior environmental scientist with Fish and Wildlife.

The fishing industry also worked hand-in-hand with the state this year to accurately track the daily catch, said Diane Pleschner-Steele, executive director of the nonprofit California Wetfish Producers Association based in Buellton.

Processors are required by law to report numbers twice a month. But this year, they sent in totals daily to help keep a more accurate count, she said.

Preliminary figures showed market squid landings had hit nearly 109,000 tons on Tuesday.

Read the full article here.

Squid - Juan Carlo, Ventura County Star

Aug 19 2013

California’s squid industry is booming

For years, the squid business in Morro Bay has been light weight, but this year, it’s heavy. Tons and tons of Market Squid are brought into the harbor every morning.

The abundance is because it’s spawning season. At this time of the year, Market Squid travel in massive schools to spawn and die.

The squid industry was volatile for a few years because the state did not want them to be over-fished, so regulations were put in place. Today, there is a limit on how many one boat can catch, and under new regulations, they cannot be fished on the weekends.

“This boat went out last night. They can get 40 tons in a couple hours,” said Giovanni DeGarimore.

The Ocean Angel threw nets just off the coast from Pismo Beach.

“They use these big nets. So they circle it and then they close it up at the bottom and scoop it all up,” he explained.

Once they’ve scooped tons and tons of squid, the boat heads back to Morro Bay to unload.

“We are unloading for Del Mar Seafoods. They are one of the larger producers of calamari in California,” said DeGarimore.

For Giovanni DeGarimore. the process is like a harvest. The tanks on the boat are connected to a suction tube that moves the squid onto a conveyer belt. The squid are then dumped into bins and iced.

Watch the story and read the article here.

California s squid industry is booming - KSBY

Jun 24 2013

How to prepare squid: How to clean, prepare and cook squid.

 

These are a few tips from our friends in the UK on how to clean, prepare and cook squid, note that the squid is a little larger than California squid, but the process is similar.
BBC Good Food
Points to remember:

  • Pull out the tentacles from the main body. Cut just below the eye and discard the innards. Discard the beak and then trim the long tentacles level with the rest.
  • Pinch the two fins together, thread thumb underneath and pull them away from the body, along with the membrane and discard.
  • Pull out the shell or ‘quill’ and then remove the innards using the back of a knife.
  • Cut the squid open, and scrape any more innards out and discard. Cut into slices, or score the squid and cut into pieces.
  • You can now cook the squid. Frying is a popular method – squid pieces just need to be cooked for 30-40 seconds on a very high heat. Serve immediately.

Read more tips and watch video here.