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Japan fishermen catch giant squid

A giant squid measuring nearly three and a half metres (11 feet) long has been caught alive in a fishing net in western Japan.

Fishermen were trawling for flatfish and crabs when they caught the squid which was missing both its longest tentacles. It was alive but died before reaching shore, said the Tottori prefecture fishing cooperative.

Local residents said they immediately wondered how many people the 100 kilo (220 lbs) squid could feed if cut into sashimi. Unfortunately the ammonium content of the squid is said to make it rather unpleasant to eat.

According to the San'in Kaigan Nature Museum in Tottori, the squid could have measured around eight metres (26 ft) had its tentacles been intact.

The museum said giant squids are known to inhabit deep sea waters between 300 metres (980 ft) to 1,500m (4,920ft), but the giant squid was caught 240m (790ft) underwater.

Researcher Toshifumi Wada said giant squids are rarely caught during trawl fishing.

"This shows that the squid was swimming at that depth, so I think this is significant," he told broadcaster NTV.

Tottori prefecture is making plans to preserve the squid for research.

The case follows a series of reports of giant squids found near Japan's coastline.

A dead giant squid was reported to have washed ashore a beach in Kashiwazaki city in Niigata prefecture last Sunday. Earlier this month, two other giant squids have been reported to be caught in fixed fishing nets.


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