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Squid and octopus populations are booming around the world




YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images

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Squid population is increasing across the world’s oceans.

Those were the finding of researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia. And it’s not only squids, but cephalopods as a whole - which also includes octopus and cuttlefish - that has increased in the last 60 years.

This in time when marine populations have been declining due to climate change and pollution.

Zoë Doubleday was one of the lead authors of the study, and she looked at the global trends in abundance around the world. She thinks the increase might have to do with human behavior. 

"Humans have been changing the marine environment particularly since the industrial revolution and European colonization a lot," says Doubleday. 

"It might be from pollution, fishing, climate change, habitat modification and I think it’s a multiple of things that are changing the marine environment and are giving a competitive advantage to cephalopods."

Whatever the reason, the change could affect ocean life. Cephalopods are voracious eaters because they have a fast metabolism and they prey on shell fish, crustaceans and fish.

But they are also an important food source for many other animals in the sea so there's bound to be winners and losers. 

"People ask me whether this is good or bad and I think that’s quite a difficult question to answer," says Doubleday. "It might be dependent on what your point of view is on the sea."