The bay in front of Pillar Point RV Park came alive today! A huge school of squid were passing through and that meant not only fishing boats, but hundreds of seagulls, terns and pelicans swarming in the air, diving for their dinner.
You can tell a squid fishing boat here at Pillar Point because they fish at night and shine their brightest lights onto the ocean around them. That makes the squid come to the surface where the fishermen can scoop them up. It's very surreal to look out over the ocean and see the bright lights.
Pelican flying low... The pelicans beat the water with their wings to bring "their dinner" closer to shallow water where they can easily scoop them up with their big bills.
In the meantime, today alone, (August 5, 2013) the squid boats here at Pillar Point Harbor, brought in 70 tons of squid that were taken by 14 semi-trucks to the cannery in Watsonville, CA. After that the squid will be sent overseas.
While the tubs of ice and squid are waiting to be loaded, the seagulls take advantage of the easily accessible buffet and can be seen swallowing whole squid in a blink of an eye.
Here are some photos from this mornings catch:
Some squid facts:
There are 300 species of squid
Giant squid are on average 43 feet long and can weigh up to 1,000 pounds
The eyes of the Colossal squid are larger than that of any other creature on Earth.
They are the size of a regulation basketball!
Squid are an excellent source of selenium, riboflavin, and vitamin B12.
Squid have three hearts!
Squid feed on plankton after hatching, but the adults are active predators which feed on crustaceans, fish and other squid. Although some species drift with the ocean currents, the commercially important species are active swimmers and move rapidly through the water by jet propulsion
Squid grow fast and have a short natural life span—they reproduce right before they die, at 6 to 8 months old. Even without fishing, the entire population replaces itself every 6 months or so.