?Commercial fishing for colossal squid

Steve O'Shea

TONMO Supporter
Staff member
Nov 19, 2002
:mad: I have just received this email (at work), and am astonished at the claims made therein. Has anyone here heard anything about this? I am having a copy of the article faxed to me this morning, and will post same online if the claim is legitimate. I have edited some of the email (removed names etc.), but have not changed the content of any sentence, or context in which it was written.

I am seeking clarification on whether Humboldt, Giant or Colossal (most likely the former ... but if it is any of the latter then I'll create one colossal stink!).
Dear Dr O'Shea

[Intro pleasantries gone] What do you make of reports in Fishing News International last month that fishermen in Chile have applied for a quota to catch them and that fishermen off Peru, who catch them with hooks the size of anchors, are already exporting them to Spain and Portugal as a cheap octopus substitute? Can send you the pics but have only the hard copy of the story.

What do we know about the conservation status of the giant squid? Do you accept what the Chilean fishermen say, which is that they are a voracious predator of the hake stocks? And what do you think about us exploiting a creature that we have only filmed once (Times cutting from Japan last December)?

I am writing this up now for use next week.

Best wishes,
Odd. I don't know if I believe that one. If they have found a way to catch them on a reliable basis, why hasn't it turned up before? Surely someone would have noticed. Sounds more like a translation error to me, as in Humbolt = giant/collossal. I don't think spanish has as many words to describe size as english, so things just get clumped together.

In a way though, I would love to be wrong. A reliable way to catch them might lead to a reliable way to observe/flim them in their natural environment.
Pipsquek I agree, this sounds like a translation issue, or the usual giant/jumbo/colossal/huge/enormous interchange that some news editors are so fond of. I've seen occasional headlines re: "giant squid invasions" in Chile but they've always been D. gigas.

Well then maybe Steve's letter does refer to the Jumbo. These two articles seem to be referring to it, funny I always thought the main squid fishery around Chile was for Illex.............I can go home now, I learned something today:biggrin2:

Yes, we've got to the bottom of this. It is definitely Humboldt, and the reporter is somewhat embarrassed! It was to be front-page news, and they've just pulled the story.
Nice to see a reporter ask an appropriate source

So often the splashes get published front page and the corrections/retractions buried somewhere, if written at all. It is comforting to know that SOME do ask and LISTEN to the replies.

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