Who doesn’t love calamari? This popular breaded seafood treat is fantastic dipped in cocktail sauce.

But market squid offers much more than breaded and fried calamari. And, since market squid are harvested in an environmentally responsible manner, it is an excellent sustainable seafood selection. Try squid ink pasta with an Alfredo sauce, or braised squid stuffed with filberts and cherries.

Also known as:

Market squid, opalescent squid, Monterey squid, San Pedro squid



Product forms:

Fresh and frozen, whole or cleaned. Also available as frozen tubes, rings, tentacles

Shopping tips:

Fresh or thawed squid should be ivory colored, with a shiny, lightly speckled membrane. Cooked squid should be white. Unlike most seafood, squid can be thawed and then refrozen without damaging the meat.


Market squid can be substituted for any other type of squid.


Grilled calamari Alfredo with squid ink pasta, fresh plum tomatoes and basil

Braised wild-caught market squid stuffed with filberts and cherries over saffron risotto

Squid fishery: Market squid are generally harvested with purse seines, or similar large nets. More.

Conservation notes:

Market squid is considered an ocean-friendly seafood choice because it is a fast-growing species with a low rate of bycatch. More.
Last updated: April 2008


Squid Fishery

Market squid are generally harvested with nets called purse seines, or similar kinds of large nets. Fishermen use boats to set purse seines around groups of squid. Market squid fishermen target spawniing squid, which congregate near the ocean's surface during the night. The fishermen shine a bright light onto the water, which attracts the squid. After encircling the squid with the net, the fishermen collect their harvest by hauling the net onto their boat. Purse seining is a fairly targeted fishery because the nets are set only after the fishermen locate and identify the squid.

Most market squid are fished in California waters.

Conservation Notes

Some fishes grow very slowly, which means their populations do not recover quickly when they are depleted by fishing because they don't get a chance to reproduce. Market squid isa fast-growing species, so its populations can handle a relatively high amount of fishing pressure.

Many types of commercial fishing gear may catch large numbers of unwanted fishes and other animals. By specifically attracting squid to their boats, squid fishermen significantly reduce the risk of accidentally capturing other species in their nets.