‘Voracious’ jumbo squid invading Pacific Northwest waters


They aren’t your normal calamari. But the jumbo squid now lurking off the Pacific Northwest coast could threaten salmon runs and signal yet another change in the oceans brought on by global warming.

The squid, which can reach seven feet long and weigh up to 110 pounds, are aggressive, thought to hunt in packs and can move at speeds of up to 15 mph. In Mexico, they’re known as diablos rojos, or red devils. They reportedly will attack divers when they feel threatened.

No one knows exactly why they started appearing in increasing numbers off Washington state and Oregon, or how many of them there are, but scientists and commercial fishermen have found them in their nets every year since 2004. One ship trawling for Pacific hake captured an estimated 50 tons of the squid in one net haul. Though they usually prefer deep water, between 1,000 and 1,500 squid washed up on the Long Beach Peninsula in southwest Washington in the fall of 2004. More..

Oh the times, they are a changin..

Photo by Erhardt Krause / Sacramento Bee / MCT

5 thoughts on “‘Voracious’ jumbo squid invading Pacific Northwest waters

  1. I saw something about this on television one night several years ago.

    A nature show… these guys are filming underwater, at night. One of the divers sez he could see something moving around just beyond their lights, so he decided to try and lure it closer by taking the rather large rotting head of a fish and shaking it around.

    (I personally think this man was a bit touched to do something like this underwater, at night… there are things in the water that do want to EAT YOU…)

    Anyways, he was successful in luring one of these oversized squids to him. It did go for the fish head, and he and the squid started playing tug-of-war w/ it. Then, the squid’s buddies showed up and 3 or 4 of them all latched onto the diver at once and started pulling him down deeper and deeper… dinner to go, I guess…

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