|FYI — July 2001|
|By Brad Dunn|
Up to now squid, a.k.a. calamari, has been fished without limit, without quota, in a phrase: California Gold Rush style. And since the sea critters began gaining popularity a decade ago--first baiting fishermen's hooks, then baiting yuppies into restaurants--the annual squid harvest has grown 500 percent, to about 125,000 tons last year.
Though scientists say there's no immediate danger to squid populations, the California Department of Fish and Game wants to make sure the 10-tentacled species never faces the kind of crisis now crippling billfish. "This is in all likelihood still a healthy fishery," says Marijo Vojkovich, a senior marine biologist in the Department's Santa Barbara office. "But we know very little. We're recommending measures that will make sure the catch is sustainable."
the group proposed a new set of squid-fishing rules, including quotas,
a limited number of boat permits, and increased research and oversight.
Biologists point to squid as a crucial link in the Pacific food chain.
Like herring and anchovies, they serve as a food source for salmon, sea
lions, whales, and dolphins. If squid populations nosedive, so will other
species. "This is the state's most valuable fishery,"
says Karen Garrison, a policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense
Fund. "If the Legislature acts, it is an example of good fisheries
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This article originally appeared in the May 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.