Cash Crop for the Can

Commercial fishermen who run their trawlers out of Ensenada have largely ceased their annual pursuit of sardines off the Baja coast in order to capture some creatures that rarely venture this far north — the calamar gigante, giant squid (aka Dosidicus gigas, Humboldt squid).

Many families out of the port of El Sauzal de Rodriguez are fishing the masses of squid that have invaded coastal waters, while the usual catch of sardines has migrated north.

Only six fishermen out of Ensenada are currently dedicated to sardine fishing, according to boatman Francisco Valenzuela; the rest, some 35 in all, are out hauling in the large-but-lithe cephalopods that are usually found much farther south, around Cabo.

This type of squid was virtually unknown off Ensenada as little as three years ago, and the reason for their sudden manifestation is unclear.

Despite their voracious appetite for sardines, the squids’ occupation of Bahia de Ensenada has proven to be the fishing community's cash crop for the can: One squidder boasted of having netted 350 tons in a single night.

Source: Frontera

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