Hmmm... Pretty sure this was discussed earlier as I've definitely seen this picture earlier, but apart from the rarity of the location, nothing much can obviously be discussed about this particular catch. It's average sized and (albeit freshly caught) awash with trawl damage. A magnificent creature, nevertheless, note its blue eyes.
I think the significance is the location, the Gulf of Mexico is not known as a Giant Squid domain and to accidentally catch one on a research trawl was unexpected. The catch makes me continue to think that we are seeing a boom year for cephs in our part of the world. There are other small indicators like the seemingly large number of briareus toward the end of last crab season and again this year at the beginning. We are also seeing a lot of young briareus, normally found in the spring. This is in addition to the huge numbers of humbolts we have witnessed up the West Coast.
"boom year for cephs" could be explain by massive fishery on bonesfishes and progressive extinction of sea mammals, we have clearly created imbalance in sea ecossytems, and this could be a consequence. Humbolt on the west US coast for example. But in this particulary case Sea temperature has consequences too.
But at the same time, we can clearly observe more "deep fishing" in most parts of seas and oceans, so logical consequence is more giant squid caught by fishermen.
D, I have yet to sea a live specimen of either of A. dux or M. hamiltoni, and, yes, that would impress me a LOT, regardless of them eating me or anyone else for that matter Although I am in awe of specimens of these species, great or small, there is a profound difference between the living, writhing, breathing, tentacled beauty of a beast and a flaccid heap of collapsed skinless squid laid out on a deck or slowly thawing in a purpose-built tank of brine.... It is life itself that lends these animals their impressiveness, not just the (impressive) structures so much in which their life is presented. Doesn't detract much from the "HOLY S**T!!!" factor that overwhelmed me when first confronted with last year's Messie, of course.