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Giant Squid Caught Near Japan 110

Frankenbuffer writes "Researchers on a quest to find a live giant squid succeeded in filming one south of Tokyo. They used a smaller bait squid to lure the giant squid to the water's surface. The giant squid, a young female about 7 metres long, put up quite a fight as it was brought aboard the research vessel. It died in the process. The researchers believe that giant squid may be more plentiful that believed previously. From the article: '"Sperm whales need from 500 to 1,000 kilograms of food every day," he said. "There are believed to be 200,000 or so of them, and that would suggest there are quite a few squid for them to be feeding on. I don't think they are in danger of extinction at all." Having filmed the squid, Mr. Kubodera said his next goal is to further study the creatures' habits in their natural surroundings -- at a depth of around 650 metres.'"
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Giant Squid Caught Near Japan

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  • extinction (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 22, 2006 @11:45AM (#17337452)
    I don't think they are in danger of extinction at all

    I'd feel better if that were determined to be a fact BEFORE you started accidentally killing them.
  • End result? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by psylew ( 733959 ) on Friday December 22, 2006 @11:53AM (#17337592)
    So they found one alive and... killed it. That's helpful. I'm sure they can learn fascinating things by studying one that was recently alive, but there's got to be a better way.
  • Re:extinction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jd ( 1658 ) <> on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:03PM (#17337742) Homepage Journal
    I'm not convinced it was terribly accidental - attempts in New Zealand to catch baby giant squid failed because they were too fragile to be caught, and the previous attempt to film a giant squid resulted in a tentacle being ripped off. The Japanese aren't stupid and aren't ignorant, ergo they knew damn well that the approach they were using was likely to cause grievous and possibly fatal injuries.

    I am much more bothered by this attitude of "oh well, doesn't matter how many we kill", though, than with the incident itself. It is wholly unacceptable that ANY scientist would hold the attitude that brainlessness is acceptable, that extreme interference with what you are studying could even produce useful results even if it were acceptable (sorry, but that has not been accepted in any branch of science for nigh on 100 years), or that the level of endangerment can be measured by how many you destroy (sheer ignorance and a pathetic excuse for an intellect).

    This is not the only area in which species otherwise classed as threatened or endangered have been labelled as free to plunder, and Japan is far from the only nation guilty of such abominable practices. Scientists with any kind of respect for their profession or for the world in which they live should make it clear that such attitudes are not professionally accepted and that researchers who would freely destroy the subjects of their research have no place in the modern scientific community.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes