Step 1: The Fishermen
Interview with David Haworth, San Diego Commercial Fisherman
- Market squid is one of the many species that commercial fishermen David Haworth’s vessels catch.
- Last season was terrible for market squid (earlier in Northern California, and more recently in the southern region) due in large part to El Niño conditions.
Meet the Fisherman
David Haworth is a second generation San Diego fisherman with 40 years of fishing experience. He owns four commercial fishing vessels that target tuna, lobster, swordfish, sardine, and squid. He is on the Pacific Fishery Management Council Advisory Body as a Coastal Pelagic Species Advisory Subpanel (CPSAS) member. He is also the Vice President of the California Wetfish Producers Association.
Squid fishing is typically done in the dark. The boats will head out after the sun has set and fish until it rises, depending on how much they catch. Squid fishermen use powerful lights to attract squid to the surface and then catch them in purse seines, which are large nets that close like a drawstring coin purse. You can see a video of it in action here. After a night of fishing, they’ll head to the closest processing facility to offload the squid where they usually get frozen immediately.
When Haworth and his crew starting fishing for market squid about 15 years ago, they caught a lot more squid year-round. There weren’t enough boats to reach the limit (118,000 short tons), “so we’d fish some sardines, some mackerel, some tuna, and just whenever the squid showed, up we’d catch ‘em,” Haworth explained in an interview.
Copyright © 2016 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.