MONTEREY (AP) — Northern California fishermen have reported an above-average squid harvest.
The Monterey Herald reported Saturday that nearly half of all squid caught in California will be pulled from northern and central locations off the coast. Typically, most of the state’s squid is caught in Southern California. Scientists are unsure why more squid are being found and caught in Northern California this season, which started in April and ends in March.
Squid follow cooler waters and Northern California usually catches more of the seafood during El Nino weather conditions, which warm the waters of Southern California first. The state is not experiencing El Nino conditions and scientists don’t fully understand why more squid are found in Northern California waters than off the coast in and around Los Angeles.
Whatever the reason, fishermen aren’t complaining.
“We just followed them up there,” said Neil Guglielmo, captain of a 70-foot fishing vessel based in Ventura County, just north of Los Angeles. “There was so much squid.
Commercial boats based in Northern California ports have caught nearly 60,000 tons worth about $38.3 million since April 1. That breaks a record for squid commercially caught north of Port Conception off the coast of Santa Barbara County, which is about 150 miles southwest of Los Angeles.
About 75 percent of Northern California’s haul has come off the coast of Monterey.
“We really had quite a banner year,” said Monterey harbormaster Stephen Scheiblauer.
Statewide, the 115,000 tons of squid have been caught as of Nov. 20. State regulators have capped the maximum amount of squid caught each year at 118,000 tons and commercial fishermen expect the season to wrap up well in advance of March.
“We fished squid this year where we never fished before,” Guglielmo said.