On a seemingly ordinary Friday in Krabi, fishermen made an extraordinary catch that has set social media abuzz. Hauling in an ensemble of giant squid, these sea giants, each tipping the scales at an impressive 5 kilograms, quickly became the talk of the town, or more accurately, the talk of Facebook, thanks to Nuch Juraluck. Nuch, a local seafood stall owner in the Muang district of Krabi, couldn’t help but share photos of these formidable creatures, igniting a wave of curiosity and bemusement among netizens.
The striking visuals of the squid sparked a flurry of comments, with folks pondering everything from the species of these marine marvels to how their flesh might fare on the palate. Despite their imposing size, some wondered if their meat would be a gastronomic delight or a culinary challenge, given its less-than-tempting appearance.
Despite being the bearer of these intriguing images, Nuch admitted to being in the dark about the squid’s official taxonomy. However, she revealed that they are affectionately known as muek jeen among the local vendors—a moniker that hints at their elusive nature.
The narrative of these intriguing sea creatures doesn’t end at their discovery. These four or five muek jeen were reeled in from the deep blue off Krabi by the stalwart fishing vessel, Chokpapimol. Subsequently, their meat found its way to the market, priced at a modest 100 baht per kilogram, finding its way into the kitchens and perhaps the hearts of the local gourmands.
Deepening the mystery and allure of the muek jeen, Charoenchai Srisuwan, a senior fisheries official in Krabi, shared insights into these seldom-seen squids. Known among the fishing community for their rarity in the region, captures of the muek jeen are few and far between, with reports surfacing only once every three to five years. These sporadic sightings are often courtesy of trawlers that scour the depths with their expansive nets, suggesting that the muek jeen prefer the solitude of the deep waters far from the prying eyes of coastal fishermen.
Charoenchai offered a glimmer of hope regarding the health of our oceans, suggesting that the appearance of the muek jeen near Krabi could signify a resurgence in the area’s biodiversity and fertility. This positive shift might be attributed to the seasonal closures of the fishery, giving nature a much-needed respite to rejuvenate. However, he couldn’t dismiss the possibility of their appearance being driven by underwater volcanic activities that nudged these mysterious creatures closer to the surface.
Whether regarded as a culinary curiosity or a symbol of ecological hope, the giant squid of Krabi serve as a reminder of the ocean’s vast mysteries and the surprises it holds. For the fishermen and residents of Krabi, it was a day that brought them face to face with the wonders of the deep, proving yet again that the sea, with all its mysteries, continues to captivate and intrigue us in ways beyond our imaginations.