Monterey County

Squid season booming off Monterey Bay

Quality of squid being caught attracting folks from all over the state

Squid Boom for Monterey Fisherman

MONTEREY, Calif. - This year's squid season kicked off two months ago and it looks like the healthiest squid are off the Central Coast.

For the past few years, fishermen say they have had good years for squid fishing in California. But what's unusual this year is the good quality squid population is right here off the Monterey Bay.

Once one bin is filled to the top with squid crews at the Monterey harbor work to unload vessels to fill another and another.

"I would estimate probably 100 tons caught today and the vessel price is $650, that's a half a million dollars for revenue today for the fishermen," said Pete Guglieamo, fisherman.

With two months into the season Gugliealmo is enjoying the momentum.

"This year is probably the fastest start we've had in many years - seems like it's attracted more boats into the area from south," said Gugliealmo.

The Monterey harbor usually has nine boats but with the high population of squid out in the bay, this year there are close to 30 boats competing for the catch. The Monterey harbormaster likes those numbers.

"We have a lot boats buying fuel, buying supplies, we make wharfage --which is the amount per ton for the fish offloaded on the wharf, and the fish buyers do well, also they employ people," said Steve Scheiblauer, harbormaster.

However, there is a limit. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife have set it at 118,000 tons.

"When that number is caught then the fishery is closed altogether," said Scheiblauer.

Gugliealmo said by the looks of it they are ahead of meeting that quota by double for this period of time, he credits the limit for a healthy season.

"There's a lot of escapement, much more escapement, much more squid reproducing, so it looks to me that its actually enhanced the fishery," he said.

Gugliealmo said the squid caught are of great quality. He said they are desirable for Japanese and Chinese markets.

The harbormaster also says they close squid fishing over the weekend to allow reproduction.

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