What Happened to the Humboldt Squid?

Uploaded by StanfordUniversity on 27.07.2011

Stanford University
We originally went down to the Sea of Cortez to continue our ongoing work on
Humboldt squid, which we have been studying for ten years, and when we went there in May
of 2010
we're a bit stymied because there were no big squid. We couldn't find any
and that sort of puzzle
led us to realize that this absence of big squid was very likely the result of
the response to an El Nino that had happened the winter before our work. The squid react
to El Nino in a way that seemed surprising. You give up being a giant that lives for
a year in a highly productive area.
You move offshore. You become small.
You live six months. You react by turning on some set of genes that causes
you to basically transform into another species.
How long it will take them to recover to the patterns that we knew about before
the El Nino, we still don't know. We don't know where the end point of that will be.
Will the squid return to their established fishing grounds.
All the people in Baja whose lives and livelihoods depend on that happening
certainly hope so.
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