Cephalopods are found in oceans and estuaries all over the world, from intertidal waters to great depths. These species are commodity seafood products that are globally caught and traded. Worldwide, the Food and Agriculture Organisation reports that catches of jumbo flying squid have continued to grow significantly since the 2000’s, partially offsetting the decline in catches of other species.
The three major squid species are jumbo flying squid (Dosidicus gigas), Argentine shortfin squid (Illex argentinus) and Japanese flying squid (Todarodes pacificus). Globally the most prolific of these species, Dosidicus gigas, has annual catches in the region of 890,000 tonnes per year out of the Pacific Ocean. Globally the other squids account for another 900,000 tonnes.
The growing worldwide popularity of Japanese cuisine, as well as Hawaiian poké (fish salad) and Spanish tapas, has helped to boost demand for cephalopods, particularly squid and octopus.
Squid should be cooked either quickly over high heat or for a long time over low heat, otherwise the flesh will become tough and chewy. Either way, it has a mild flavour and firm texture and goes well with almost any flavouring. It is suitable for a wide variety of preparations, whole tubes can be stuffed and baked, strips or rings are often sold value-added in a coating ready to be deep-fried.