Squid are in season from spring to summer. They tend to gather around shiny objects, so they are fished during the night with high powered light bulbs faced towards the water. Night time is the ideal time to do this in order to make them gather around a single light source.
It is estimated that Japan consumes about 40% of the squid caught in the world. It is often quite expensive to purchase and is best to consume it fresh during the winter or the beginning of spring. Seasonal prices is a big reason for its high prices and probably because it is one of the most popular seafood in Japan along with oysters.
While squid is not the most popular ingredient for sushi, there are many other ways it can be enjoyed, including sashimi which are thinly sliced into angel hair noodles are a delicacy. They are dipped in savory broth and consumed. Grilled squid, baked squid filled with rice stuffing are popular dishes as well. Tempura, and fried calamari are favorites as well. Okinawan cuisine is famous for their ink soup, which has a unique flavor that comes from the amino acid content.
They are unattractive to some people and the word ika is believed to have come from the word ikatsui or grim.