Calamari was designated as the official state appetizer of Rhode Island, signed into law by then-Governor Lincoln Chafee in 2014.
Squid is Rhode Island’s top landed seafood with more than 119 Rhode Island fishing vessels bringing in an average of twenty-two million pounds each year valued at more than $28 million annually for this one species.
Galilee is the number one port for longfin squid landings on the entire East Coast.
Rhode Island’s seafood processing facilities also include the largest supplier of calamari in the United States, since out-of-state boats come here to have squid processed.
There are more than 300 species of squid with a wide range of sizes. They can measure anywhere from one inch to eighty feet in length.
Squid is a cousin of the octopus, and also releases a dark ink when threatened. Squid ink is salty and can be used to color and flavor risotto or pasta dishes.
Squid have skin cells called chromatophores that allow them to change colors. Squid change the color of their skin in seconds to match their surroundings, camouflaging them from predators.
Colossal squid have the largest eyes in the animal kingdom, measuring about the size of a soccer ball or basketball. They also have a built-in protective layer that looks similar to contact lenses.
Squid have three hearts. One systemic heart pumps blood through the squid’s body and two branchial hearts pump blood into the gills.
Humboldt squid, which live deep in the open ocean, have bioluminescent organs that make their skin glow in the dark. Scientists say that Humboldt squid use the changing light patterns on their skin to communicate with each other in the dark.Research by Carmen Russo