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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Potential boon to Rhode Island’s fried calamari market

Researchers discover Giant Squid is essentially all the same species, regardless of where they are found
By Will Collette
Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have made the discovery that the elusive giant squid, found in all the world’s oceans, is essentially the same creature regardless of where it is found. Their findings are based on sampling the DNA from 43 specimens gathered from oceans all over the planet.

Rhode Island is considering the merits of legislation declaring Rhode Island-style fried calamari with yellow peppers as its Official State Appetizer, partly to bring attention to the dish and to Rhode Island’s position as the #1 source for squid on the East Coast.

I asked Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D, District 34-South Kingstown, Narragansett) for an update on the status of the Fried Calamari bill, and her answer was “floundering.”

With so many popular species of fish suffering from over-harvesting and now subject to severe catch limits, the ability to catch and bring squid to market is critical to the survival of our local fishing fleets.

Now that scientists know that Giant Squid are basically the same animal worldwide, it would be hard to threaten their existence unless of course there was a worldwide push to catch nothing but giant squid.

It’s not a given that the giant squid would cooperate. Squid are surprisingly intelligent creatures with good eyesight and the ability to fight back. Indeed, old mariners’ tales speak of ships sunk and mariners eaten by “the Kraken,” now believed to be giant squid.

But once we figure out how to bring a larger giant squid catch home, can you just imagine what kind of amazing fried calamari dishes we could turn out?