Octapocalypse: so smart, and so tasty – May 30, 2016

By May 3, 2016World Oceans

In the same waters where fish have faced serious declines, cephalopods—squids, octopuses, cuttlefish—are booming, and scientists don’t know why, according to an analysis published in Current Biology. “Cephalopods have increased in the world’s oceans over the last six decades,” reports Zoë Doubleday, lead marine ecologist on the study. “Our results suggest that something is going on in the marine environment on a large scale, which is advantageous to cephalopods.”

She suspects warming oceans may be creating beneficial growing conditions for some cephalopods, and overfishing could potentially reduce the numbers of fish that prey on the delicious, squishy snacks. Finding the answer why, she said, “may tell us an even bigger story about how human activities are changing the ocean.” What might happen if cephalopods run out of food. “They’re highly cannibalistic—they might start eating each other if they overgrow,” Doubleday said. It’s too early to predict whether octopuses will continue to boom or devolve into a frenzied cannibalism fest. Still, if an intelligent race of tentacled underwater beings winds up outmaneuvering us and taking over the planet, we can’t say there weren’t warning signs.

 

Pink Shrimp unloading at the dock in Tarpon Springs, Florida

 

Dogfish taco and Catfish sandwich at NYC’s Seamore’s

The trend toward underloved and invasive species continues to pick up steam. Lionfish and Mullet are becoming more popular in the South. Folks are beginning to enjoy Grenadier on the west coast. Silver Carp are finding their way onto more plates in the Midwest. Chesapeake Blue Catfish and Atlantic Spiny Dogfish are swimming everywhere. Supporting traditional fishing communities by enjoying wild, sustainable, domestic, traceable, healthy, delicious, affordable seafood; it just makes too much sense.

Enjoy it very much.Memorial Day begins the summer fishing season in earnest.

All the best,

from the Dimin Family and the Sea to Table team

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