Thanks to a local fishing line vessel’s dragline net, Humboldt State University’s marine laboratory now possesses a huge clubhook squid over 12 feet long and weighing over 60 pounds.
Speaking to the Eureka Times-Standard on Thursday, laboratory equipment technician Grant Eberle said, “This is a special treat from the sea we don’t see that often. This is the third one I’ve seen in 20 years. We’ll certainly expose as many students as we can to this guy.”
Eberle said he would display the squid, which was caught on Tuesday, to the public for one day, then preserve it in a freezer.
Eberle said captured squid are normally deposited back into the ocean, as only sperm whales and some sharks consume them, but when his port inspector friend told him about the squid’s incredible size, he asked for it to be transported to him.
Eberle has to decide whether to dissect it with students in his marine invertebrate course or preserve it for a museum.
The clubhook squid, aka M. robusta, has two rows of sharp hooks on its tentacle clubs, and can grow up to 16 feet long. It is the third largest squid reported in the North Pacific, after the giant squid Architeuthis and the giant Pacific octopus Enteroctopus dofleini. Enteroctopus dofleini have been reported with a length of over 35 feet.
The lab posted pictures of the squid on its Facebook page.