Squid are cephalopods, a word meaning “head foot.” They are a close relative of the octopus and a distant relative of bivalve mollusks. More than 300 species inhabit the world’s oceans, but fewer than a dozen comprise 90 percent of the global catch; of them, three comprise the domestic suppy. West Coast “market squid” (L. opalescens) are 3 to 5 inches long; East Coast squid, including long-finned “winter squid” (L. pealei) and short-finned “summer squid” (Illex illecebrosus), are a bit larger. Summer squid is the largest commercial species. West Coast squid, found from Alaska to California, are caught with purse seines from “light boats” that lure them to the surface from depths of 60 to 200 feet with high-intensity lamps. On the East Coast, squid are trawled and trapped from Canada to North Carolina in coastal waters and up to 200 miles offshore. Because the domestic market prefers a white-meated product, squid are sometimes “bleached” in a brine solution to enhance white­ness.