Japanese fisherman have hauled up another giant squid in their nets – and this time it was alive.
The squid was 5.8 metres long, including its tentacles. It was the fourth giant squid fisherman in central Japan’s Toyama Prefecture have caught in their nets already this year.
This latest catch was the first one many of the fisherman had seen alive, WPTV.com reported.
Local fisherman have reported a disturbing rise in giant squid catches in the past year or so. They say the squid are coming closer to the surface and into their shrimp nets, which are dragged around the 300m mark.
From what little is known about giant squid, 300m is the limit of where they rise to. They prefer anywhere between 600m and 1800m.
When Shigenori Goto caught a four-metre specimen last year, he told the Japan Times:
“I had seen no giant squid before in my 15-year fishing career. I wonder whether it may be some kind of omen.”
Until 2014, only eight specimens had been identified in 50 years, a local curator told the Japan News last year. Then in 2014, eight were caught in the waters off Niigata Prefecture alone and several more in Toyama Prefecture.
A spokesman for the local aquarium in Toyama Prefecture said the latest catch would be kept for research.