Feb 22, 2007, 04:11 AM
Perth Westen Australia
Joined Jun 2003
Fish and chips (well squid rings) anyone
probably a bit chewy
Biggest squid found in Antarctic waters
22/02/2007 5:39 PM
New Zealand fishermen in the Ross Sea have caught what's thought to be the largest squid ever found anywhere in the world, weighing an estimated 450kg.
Experts are yet to examine the whopper, but if original estimates are correct it is about 10 metres long and is 150kg heavier than the next biggest specimen ever found.
The creature is a colossal squid (scientific name Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) - a very large species that's shorter but much heavier than the better known giant squid.
The squid was caught after it was hauled to the surface munching on one of its favourite foods - a Patagonian toothfish the fishermen had hooked on a longline.
Dr Steve O'Shea, a world renowned squid expert with the Auckland University of Technology, said the specimen eclipsed the previous largest find - another colossal squid that weighed 300kg found in 2003.
Scientists would be very excited, he said.
"I can assure you that this is going to draw phenomenal interest. It is truly amazing," he said.
He said if calamari were made from the squid the rings would be the size of tractor tyres.
New Zealand Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton described how the squid was hauled from the deep in Antarctic waters.
"It was actually eating a toothfish, which was on a long-line. It was eating it up as it came up," Anderton said.
It is believed the crew on the boat stopped winching in the long-line and spent two hours manoeuvring a net under the squid to haul it aboard.
The squid was caught three weeks ago, but the find was only announced on Thursday.
Geoff Dolan, an observer with New Zealand's Ministry of Fisheries, was aboard the vessel San Aspiring, owned by the Sanford seafood company, when the squid was hauled aboard.
"There was quite a lot of excitement onboard ... the decision was taken that the chances of survival were not good, and in the interests of science it should be taken on board," Dolan said.
Sanford's deepwater division manager Greg Johansson said the squid was barely alive when it was pulled aboard.