H-MORRO BAY

Aug 16, 2013 7:19 PM by Keli Moore, KSBY News

California's squid industry is booming

For years, the squid business in Morro Bay has been light weight, but this year, it's heavy. Tons and tons of Market Squid are brought into the harbor every morning.

The abundance is because it's spawning season. At this time of the year, Market Squid travel in massive schools to spawn and die.

The squid industry was volatile for a few years because the state did not want them to be over-fished, so regulations were put in place. Today, there is a limit on how many one boat can catch, and under new regulations, they cannot be fished on the weekends.

"This boat went out last night. They can get 40 tons in a couple hours," said Giovanni DeGarimore.

The Ocean Angel threw nets just off the coast from Pismo Beach.

"They use these big nets. So they circle it and then they close it up at the bottom and scoop it all up," he explained.

Once they've scooped tons and tons of squid, the boat heads back to Morro Bay to unload.

"We are unloading for Del Mar Seafoods. They are one of the larger producers of calamari in California," said DeGarimore.

For Giovanni DeGarimore. the process is like a harvest. The tanks on the boat are connected to a suction tube that moves the squid onto a conveyer belt. The squid are then dumped into bins and iced.

Each bin holds 1,500 pounds of squid, and on Friday, 60 were filled and loaded onto semi-trucks.

Friday's catch came to 80,000 pounds.

"When you buy it in a restaurant, it's typically called calamari. When you put it on your hook, it's called squid," said DeGarimore.

Demand for squid spans across the world because of calamari. Market Squid are a $70-million industry in California and it's a big part of the business Giovanni loves.

According to NOAA scientists, many aspects of a squid's life remain unknown and more research needs to be done.

Squid season opened April 1st and typically goes until December.

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