Study Shows Growing Populations of Octopus, Squid, and Other Cephalopods

Scientists are investigating the cause of the increase and the far-reaching effects on the ocean as a whole

Flickr / fto mizno / CC BY 2.0

In studying 60 years of data, scientists found that cephalopod populations have boomed since the 1950s.

No need to skimp on the calamari, it seems.

A scientific study published in Current Biology has found that cephalopod populations (squid, octopus, cuttlefish, etc.) are rising, as determined by scientific survey data and fisheries records, which together amount to 60 years of reliable data. The scientists found that cephalopod populations have been booming since the 1950s, for both open ocean species and those that live closer to shore.

Though it is difficult to pinpoint the population growth on a single factor, there are a variety of theories. Researchers say that cephalopods are highly adaptable to environmental changes. Fishing is another important factor, as catching fish that eat cephalopods would also help to increase populations. Rising temperatures as a result of climate change can speed up cephalopod growth rates, thus also speeding up population growth.

Whether the cause is any or a combination of these, it is also important to consider the far-reaching effects of the growing cephalopod population on the ocean as a whole.

Learn more about sustainable fishing in our story here.

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