Posts Tagged California Squid

May 16 2020

Squid Fishing Season is Off to a Good Start in Monterey Bay, After a Dismal 2019

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Copyright © 2020

Seafood News

Copyright © 2020 Milestone Communications,
By Parker Seibold
May 15, 2020

A good squid fishing season relies on a lot of factors, with water temperature, ocean currents and food source among the most important. Last year, for whatever combination of reasons, was a bad one.

The 2020-2021 commercial squid fishing season started on April 1 and dozens of boats can be seen dotting the horizon of Monterey Bay as the squid return, this year in better numbers.

“This has actually been one of the best Aprils we’ve had since 2010,” says Pete Guglielmo, a buyer and processor with Southern Cal Seafood, Inc. “Usually when the squid show up this early in the season, it’s proved to be a very good fishing season for the industry.”

As of May 8, 4,800 tons of the 118,000-ton seasonal catch limit had been landed in California, according to Katie Grady, an environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Around the same time last year, they’d brought in just over 1 ton. The preliminary total for 2019 shows the entire season’s catch was 15,000 tons.

The squid are also larger than they’ve been in the last several years, and in high demand. A majority of squid caught in Monterey Bay is exported. Because of shortages around the world last year, countries are buying what they can now that it’s available again. And with that, the price has gone from 50 cents per pound last year to 60 cents per pound.

It’s a good thing for local fishermen, says Anthony Russo, a skipper and owner of two fishing boats, because with the no commercial sardine fishing and tight restrictions elsewhere in the industry, many of them rely on squid.

“Sardines used to pull us through the bad years if the squid weren’t there,” he says. “If we wouldn’t have had a little bit of squid now it would have been really, really bad. Not just for the fishermen, but for the workers in the canneries and the markets. If they close, we don’t have anywhere to sell our fish.”