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Market squid are native to the Eastern Pacific Ocean and due to their short life span, reproduce at a young age, making them highly resilient to the pressures of fishing. Humans are not the only ones to find market squid delicious – they are a primary food source for sharks, carnivorous fish, seabirds, and marine mammals such as seals and sea lions.
In Monterey Bay, the market squid fishery has existed for nearly 150 years, originally begun by Chinese immigrants and later taken up by Italian immigrants. Within Monterey Bay, the fishery typically operates from April to November.
Culinary Tips: Fresh squid cooks quickly making it perfect for a stir fry or fried after being lightly breaded. The bodies or "tubes" are also great when stuffed and gently baked in a tomato sauce.
Catch Method: Purse Seine
Sustainability: On the West Coast they are plentiful and highly regulated. Market squid are a fast-growing species with a short natural lifespan, which makes them less susceptible to overfishing. By encircling schools of squid with nets, bycatch from squid purse seining is generally low.
- MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Best Choice
- NOAA Fish Stock Sustainability Index: N/A