Cuttlefish have eight arms and two
suckered tentacles with which to capture food. The tentacles are usually
retracted when not being used. The body of the common cuttlefish is about 36
centimetres long. It can quickly change colour to camouflage into its
surroundings, but usually has a zebra-like pattern. The giant cuttlefish (Sepia
apama) can reach 80 centimetres long.
Cuttlefish live in
temperate and tropical seas around the world, especially in
shallow water areas and around reefs.
Cuttlefish are taken as a bycatch by Australian commercial fishermen,
mainly in prawn fisheries.
Larger cuttlefish are kept for sale, while smaller ones are only marketed
if sufficient quantities are caught. They are sold in Australia for human
consumption and bait.
Cuttlefish primarily feed on demersal fish and crustaceans.
Did you Know? The
original “IndiaInk” used in fountain pens before
the ballpoint pen was invented was ink from cuttlefish collected
in the Indian Ocean
All year round
Over 40cm and 5 kg
Australian Species Code
Delicate sweet taste. Medium to firm texture.
For every 100 grams raw product
for Cuttlefish fillet.
The cuttlefish is not a fish, it is a mollusk of the order
Cephalopodan. Cuttlefish have a specialised shell, not on the
outside, but on the inside, which is used for buoyancy and is
called the cuttle bone, you often find these washed up on the
beach, and are popular to give budgerigars to eat for calcium.
To move through the ocean, the cuttlefish has a wavy fin that
surrounds its mantle, it also has a siphon, a muscular tube that
it can squirt water out of for fast propulsion.
The cuttlefish has a very large brain. It has a very advanced
eye. The cuttlefish is colour blind. It can change colour and
texture almost instantly. How the cuttlefish blends into
backgrounds and colours is a mystery because it can do it in
When a cuttlefish is threatened, it released an ink from it's
ink sac. It releases the ink in one of two ways, the first is a
little puff of ink. The second is a release of both ink and
mucus. These are called pseudo-morphs and are designed to be
decoys for the cuttlefish as it escapes.
The cuttlefish feeds by extending 2 hidden feeding tentacles,
which it uses to snag prey and pull it back to its poisoned
Cuttlefish mating begins when the male grabs the female by the
face and inserts another specialised tentacle into an opening
near her mouth and inserts sperm sacs. Males have 4 pairs of
arms and females have 3. Weaker males sometimes disguise
themselves by hiding 2 of their arms. These disguised males swim
right past the competition to get the female. After the female's
eggs are fertilized, she deposits her eggs in a hole on the
bottom of the ocean. The eggs are called "sea grapes" and they
are guarded by both the male and female until they hatch.
Cuttlefish or Squid:
Flesh of the mantle, fins, arms and tentacles, Ink, used in
soups and great for colouring and flavouring Spanish-style
risotto and pasta . Heads of small squid, which can be used
for dishes such as seafood marinara and in salads
Squids have a
light, subtle taste and a high recovery rate, and are firm
yet tender. Cuttlefish flavour is mild.
To produce tender cephalopods, cook them quickly (for less
than 2 minutes) over a high heat, or slowly simmer or
braise. Their ink can darken sauce or colour pasta, and they
can be used on skewers and in tempura and pasta sauces.
Squid is popularly served as deep fried rings (often called
calamari). The squid is sliced into rings, or kept flat and
scored diagonally, crumbed, deep fried and served with
tartare sauce but try chilli jam instead.
Squid can be coated in sea salt and cracked black pepper,
seared very quickly on the barbecue over a high heat, and
served with a mixture of lime juice, palm sugar and
Stuffing squid is a versatile method of preparation. Olives,
onion, parsley and breadcrumbs make a good base then the
options are endless. Poach in a court bouillon for added
flavour and serve with capsicums, capers, fennel, tapenade
and a reduction sauce of the squid ink, if desired. Due to
its texture, squid is also suitable for casseroling.
Cuttlefish requires quick cooking if the flesh is not to
become tough. It can be stuffed and grilled whole or
shaved and served as a garnish or in a warm salad.
Tenderise squid and cuttlefish with raw papaya or kiwifruit
in milk 2-4 hours before cooking.