Wednesday, August 01, 2007
More on the takeover of Monterey Bay by voracious Jumbo (aka Humboldt or 'Red Devil') Squid in today's New York Times. Researchers think the spread of the fearsome eating machines, which threaten to deplete commercially valuable fisheries such as hake, may be due to a combination of factors (sound familiar?). These include: overfishing, which has resulted in a reduction of competitors with, and predators of, the squid -- such as billfish; and climate change, which scientists think may be extending a band of a low-oxygen water in the Pacific in which the jumbo squid and many of their prey tend to thrive. One researcher hypothesized that the Red Devils, which are also spreading south into Chilean waters, could be following this hypoxic stratum "like a highway" into new territories, adding that the jumbos are the perfect organism to capitalize on change."