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Voracious jumbo squid invade California (Humboldt squid or Dosidicus gigas)
AP on Yahoo ^ | 7/24/07 | AP

Posted on 07/24/2007 8:39:19 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

MONTEREY, Calif. - Jumbo squid that can grow up to 7 feet long and weigh more than 110 pounds is invading central California waters and preying on local anchovy, hake and other commercial fish populations, according to a study published Tuesday.

An aggressive predator, the Humboldt squid — or Dosidicus gigas — can change its eating habits to consume the food supply favored by tuna and sharks, its closest competitors, according to an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

"Having a new, voracious predator set up shop here in California may be yet another thing for fishermen to compete with," said the study's co-author, Stanford University researcher Louis Zeidberg. "That said, if a squid saw a human they would jet the other way."

The jumbo squid used to be found only in the Pacific Ocean's warmest stretches near the equator. In the last 16 years, it has expanded its territory throughout California waters, and squid have even been found in the icy waters off Alaska, Zeidberg said.

Zeidberg's co-author, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute senior scientist Bruce Robison, first spotted the jumbo squid here in 1997, when one swam past the lens of a camera mounted on a submersible thousands of feet below the ocean's surface.

More were observed through 1999, but the squid weren't seen again locally until the fall of 2002. Since their return, scientists have noted a corresponding drop in the population of Pacific hake, a whitefish the squid feeds on that is often used in fish sticks, Zeidberg said.

"As they've come and gone, the hake have dropped off," Zeidberg said. "We're just beginning to figure out how the pieces fit together, but this is most likely going to shake things up."

Before the 1970s, the giant squid were typically found in the Eastern Pacific, and in coastal waters spanning from Peru to Costa Rica. But as the populations of its natural predators — like large tuna, sharks and swordfish — declined because of fishing, the squids moved northward and started eating different species that thrive in colder waters.

Local marine mammals needn't worry about the squid's arrival since they're higher up on the food chain, but lanternfish, krill, anchovies and rockfish are all fair game, Zeidberg said.

A fishermen's organization said Tuesday they were monitoring the squid's impact on commercial fisheries.

"In years of high upwellings, when the ocean is just bountiful, it probably wouldn't do anything," Zeke Grader, the executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations. "But in bad years it could be a problem to have a new predator competing at the top of the food chain."


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Local News; Science
KEYWORDS: calamari; california; coastalenvironment; cryptozoology; environment; giantsquid; invade; jumbo; kraken; squid; voracious

Fishermen Gary Laufer, left red hat, Patrick Voerman, (behind) Ray Amason, and Matt Baldwin hold up Humboldt squid in this file photo taken Monday, June 4, 2007 in Ventura, Calif. The Humboldt squid, which can grow up to 7 feet long and weigh more than 110 pounds, is invading central California waters and preying on local anchovy, hake and other commercial fish populations, according to a study published Tuesday.(AP Photo/Ventura County Star, Dana Rene Bowler)


1 posted on 07/24/2007 8:39:20 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

Hmmmm..... Calamari!!


2 posted on 07/24/2007 8:41:28 PM PDT by LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget (God punishes Conservatives by making them argue with fools.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Are they good to eat?


3 posted on 07/24/2007 8:45:12 PM PDT by mefistofelerevised
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To: NormsRevenge

The Docidicus Gigas is doomed to extinction unless we act now!

(So for God’s sake, let’s not do a damned thing)!


4 posted on 07/24/2007 8:47:54 PM PDT by mozarky2 (Ya never stand so tall as when ya stoop to stomp a statist!)
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To: NormsRevenge
"Having a new, voracious predator set up shop here in California may be yet another thing for fishermen to compete with," said the study's co-author, Stanford University researcher Louis Zeidberg

He would know, after all.

5 posted on 07/24/2007 9:27:43 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: NormsRevenge

Let us pray this isn’t the Roseus O’Donnellus squid species or everything in Monterey Bay will be eaten, especially all the females of those various species.


6 posted on 07/24/2007 9:36:13 PM PDT by Rembrandt (We would have won Viet Nam w/o Dim interference.)
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To: Roccus; Renfield

ping


7 posted on 07/25/2007 7:31:06 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: NormsRevenge
The Humboldt squid will eat anything it can get its tentacles on. Click here to watch a video.
8 posted on 07/25/2007 7:32:17 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: NormsRevenge
Excerpt:

Originally, the squid lived only off the Pacific coast of South America. But in the 1970s, Mexican fisherman began to notice the animals further north in the Gulf of California. In the 1990s, California anglers started catching them and the squid has been spotted as far north as Alaska.

To map the animal's migration, Robison and his colleague Lou Zeidberg analysed 16 years of deep-sea video footage captured by unmanned submersibles off the coast of central California.

The videos showed a surge in squid numbers in 1997, an El Niño year when oceans warmed and currents reversed — flowing from south to north. The squid then vanished until 2002, another El Niño year. But this time, they stayed for good.

Each time the Humboldts showed up, hake, the most abundant commercial fish on the West Coast, disappeared from the video footage. Squid stomachs contain lanternfish — their food of choice in Mexico — but hake as well, says Zeidberg. "They can alter their diets based on what's around," he says.

The march north can't be explained by warmer water alone, the team concludes. When the Pacific cooled after the 2002 El Niño, the animals stayed and reproduced. And even in the tropics, Humboldts live in cold water 1,000 metres down.

9 posted on 07/25/2007 7:34:59 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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Giant squid with 40,000 sharp teeth take up residence in Monterey Bay
Mercury News | 7/23/07 | Paul Rogers
Posted on 07/23/2007 6:02:28 PM EDT by NormsRevenge
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1870453/posts

Octopus helps unearth ancient pottery
Yahoooooooo | Tuesday, July 24, 2007 | AFP
Posted on 07/24/2007 1:47:48 PM EDT by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1870866/posts

The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus
(Help Save The Tree Octopus From Extinction!)
greenpeas.org
Posted on 01/22/2006 3:35:59 AM EST by bad company
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1562624/posts


10 posted on 07/25/2007 9:46:25 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Monday, July 23, 2007 https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: NormsRevenge

Why was I not pinged to this story!?


11 posted on 07/25/2007 2:12:02 PM PDT by Squidpup ("Fight the Good Fight")
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