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Fish news
 
19½ feet long squid caught in the Gulf of Mexico

giant squid 19½ feet long squid caught in the Gulf of Mexico A 19.5 feet long squid – that’s almost 6 meter – has been caught in the Gulf of Mexico by a group of scientists from the NOAA’s* Southeast Fisheries Science Center and the Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service. This is only the second known giant squid caught in the Gulf of Mexico and the last one was collected 55 years ago.

The gigantic squid of 1954 was a dead specimen found floating around at the surface off the Mississippi Delta, while the 103 pound giant caught on July 30 this year was pulled up from a depth of more than 1,500 feet by NOAA’s trawling research vessel Gordon Gunter.

As the trawl net rose out of the water, I could see that we had something big in there…really big,” said Anthony Martinez, marine mammal scientist for NOAA’s Fisheries Service and chief scientist for this research cruise. “We knew there was a remote possibility of encountering a giant squid on this cruise, but it was not something we were realistically expecting.”

This is an incredibly rare find in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Dr. Michael Vecchione, director for NOAA’s Fisheries Service’s National Systemics Laboratory and a giant squid expert. “Giant squid have been found more commonly in areas of the world where there are deep-water fisheries, such as Spain and New Zealand, but this is the first time one has actually been captured during scientific research in the Gulf of Mexico.”

The capturing of the squid took place during a 60-day scientific study of sperm whale prey off the coast of Louisiana. The giant squid has now been preserved and sent to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum for Natural History.

giant squid2 19½ feet long squid caught in the Gulf of Mexico

*U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

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