Biological Information: Market Squid has been fished in the Monterey Bay for over 150 years and still to this day is one of its largest fisheries, due to their abundance and unique lifecycle. When the squid are about two months old they begin to form large schools and become active hunters preying upon fish, crabs and other mollusks. They must eat quick since their lifespan only last for about a year. Once they reach a year old, thousands of squid will migrate into the Monterey Bay where the male delivers a sperm pack to the female who will then deposit hundreds of eggs onto the sandy, muddy bottom before both the male and female die. This short lifespan and high reproductive output make squid a good sustainable seafood choice. Squid meat is firm and white with a mild flavor. It is extremely versatile and works great for a variety of cooking methods as well as raw. You can even add the ink to pasta or rice dishes for a unique and delicious umami flavor.
Sustainability: Their sheer abundance, naturally short life span and early maturity age make Market Squid an excellent sustainable seafood choice since these factors make them less susceptible to the pressures of fishing. They are caught at night using large lights that attract and concentrate the school before a purse seine encircles the school and hauls them aboard. Market squid caught in California are rated a Good Alternative by Monterey Bay Seafood Watch due to limited information on the fishery. By-catch in the fishery is low but concerns over squid egg capture and a general lack of science and management make the picture incomplete.