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..