CUTTLEFISH that are caught in the UK and are very popular in Spanish cuisine have been coming under threat of extinction.
They’re known as ‘black gold’ due to the black ink they produce when they’re threatened and the high price they are sold for in Spain and Italy.
The Marine Conservation Society has placed the species on its ‘fish to avoid’ list and is calling for catch limits in order to protect them.
The cuttlefish is a mollusc, related to squid and octopus and is one of the most intelligent invertebrates.
Their value has more than doubled in the past decade to €4.07 per kilo.
During that time catches have also doubled, as fishermen have taken advantage of the absence of catch control on the species.
The Marine Conservation Society said that the sepia – as they’re known in Spanish – are being caught before they could come closer to shore to lay eggs, causing the rapid decline in their population.
Manager of the Society, Charlotte Coombes called for catch limits, minimum size limits and a ban on catching them during their spawning season.