How Much Does a Cuttlefish Cost?

Last Updated on December 9, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Cuttlefish or Sepia are cephalopods found in temperate and shallow tropical waters. Although it can be seen in aquariums and US research institutions, wild cuttlefish are not found in US waters.

There are over 100 species of cuttlefish. These animals range in size from a few inches to a few feet long. The giant cuttlefish is the largest species of cuttlefish and can grow up to over 3 feet in length and weigh more than 20 kilograms.

How Much Does a Cuttlefish Cost?

The price of a cuttlefish is influenced by some factors such as the place you buy it from and the size of the animal. Plan on spending anywhere between $130 and $260 for a half-grown cuttlefish which is around five inches long. On the other hand, cuttlefish which is smaller than one-half of an inch and the eggs cost anywhere between $20 and $30 each.

The price of a flamboyant cuttlefish, which can be hard to find for sale, would be around $80 for an egg or up to $320 for one that is less than three months old.

For example, you can purchase one up to two-and-a-half-inch aquacultured cuttlefish (Sepia Officinalis) for around $160 from the Live Aquaria online shop.

Also, Paradise Pet Shop in Wake Village, Texas has groups of cuttlefish for sale with prices starting at around $30 and going up to $1,550. For instance, the price of 10 eggs would be almost $95, while for 200 cuttlefish eggs, you will have to pay around $1,550.

You might also like our articles about the cost of pufferfish, seahorses, or octopuses.

Eating and cooking cuttlefish

If you want to buy cuttlefish to consume as food, be prepared to pay the same price as for squid and calamari. The average price would be anywhere between $7 and $15 per pound.

Cuttlefish details

Sepia is a mollusk; many call it fish, which is wrong.

The European common cuttlefish (Sepia Officinalis) is the largest and best-known species of cuttlefish. It is native to the Baltic, Nordic, and Mediterranean seas. It lives on the bottoms of the oceans with mud and sand at depths of up to 200 meters.

Unlike octopuses, cuttlefish have a protective coating. They have an elongated body and 10 tentacles with suction cups used to catch prey.

They reach a weight of 5 kg and a length of 60 cm. Many species do not exceed 20-30 cm in length. The blood is pumped by 3 separate hearts. It is said that cuttlefish eyes are the most developed in the animal kingdom.

The cuttlefish has a wing around its body, which looks like a skirt. They use this wing for swimming. When rapid movement is required, they can expel water and move by jet propulsion.

What are the extra costs?

You should take into consideration the cuttlefish food because it may be costly for some. Their diet consists of brine shrimp, especially for newly hatched cuttlefish, worms, small fish, crabs, mollusks, and even other cuttlefish. Also, they may consume freshwater shrimps and crayfish.

Live mysids are the best food for cuttlefish raised for eggs, while newborn hatchings will eat just live food. Krill and marine shrimp can be introduced into their diet after three months. For instance, the price of a bag of 2,000 mysid shrimp is around $320.

Also, you have to budget for the aquarium setting if you are going to raise the cuttlefish. Be prepared to spend anywhere between $35 and $40 per gallon for a saltwater tank with a reef system. The minimum size of a tank recommended by experts is anywhere between 100 and 200 gallons. For example, you will have to pay a few thousand dollars for a 200-gallon tank.

The maintenance of the saltwater tank in the future is another cost to consider. For example, if you will hire a professional aquarium cleaning service then you will have to pay around $1.5 per gallon, with a minimum fee of around $85.

You will have to pay the delivery fees as well, in case you are ordering the cuttlefish online. This is because of the sensitivity of the fish during transportation. The majority of the retailers prefer to ship overnight to make sure the cuttlefish survives upon arrival. However, this fee may be waived if you meet a minimum purchasing requirement.

Important things to consider

Due to its ability to change color to camouflage, it is called the “sea chameleon”. It changes its color very easily depending on where it sits: between algae, on the sand, etc.

Common CuttlefishSepia are active predators that feed on other mollusks, fish, and crabs. They can also feed on other cuttlefish.

The temperature is crucial for the survival of a cuttlefish, depending on this it can live one to two years or even more.

Pay close attention to those who have cuttlefish in aquariums and want to reproduce them. Choose the gender carefully because if you put two males in the same water tank they will fight.

There is a good chance that a female with a male will quarrel because they do not have optimal conditions, but two cuttlefish of the same gender are almost certainly arguing.

When attacked or threatened, cuttlefish can release ink – called cuttlefish – into a cloud that confuses predators and allows cuttlefish to escape, just like an octopus. This ink has historically been used for writing and drawing and can be used to treat medical conditions. It is also used as a food coloring.

In addition to the ink used to make paints, cuttlefish have a bone called the “cuttlefish bone” which is very rich in calcium.

Cuttlefish bone was also used to grind metal or tooth dust (gloss).

Recent studies confirm that cuttlefish are the smartest invertebrates.

Japanese researchers have found that cuttlefish fat has antibiotic properties.

Cuttlefish is a tasty food that can be eaten cooked in the oven, grilled, fried, marinated, stuffed, or breaded.

The price of cuttlefish as a food

Export price per kilogram

When examining the costs associated with cuttlefish sold in the global seafood industry, we first look at export pricing. Whole fresh or frozen US cuttlefish shipped overseas for international wholesale distribution averages $5 to $8 per kilogram paid to the fishing companies and processors.

If the cuttlefish undergoes processing first – cleaned, de-boned, and portioned into cuts for example – export pricing rises to $10 to $15+ per kilogram or higher in most cases. Fluctuations in exchange rates between countries can cause variations in export price per kilogram of cuttlefish as well.

Import price per kilogram

For businesses importing cuttlefish to their domestic markets, whole fresh product shipping from major cuttlefish harvesting regions averages $12 to $18 per kilogram landed cost.

Processed imported seafood goods like strips, rings, or deboned meat normally sell for $15 to $25+ per kg and more. Specialty importers focused on wild-caught quality stock often pay premium prices to foreign suppliers.

The retail price range for whole fresh raw cuttlefish typically sells for $15 to $22 per kilogram at Asian seafood specialty stores and fish markets. Specialty frozen cuttlefish intended for sushi or other delicacies may retail as high as $25 to $40+ per kg in some high-end establishments.

How can I save money?

In case you intend to buy cuttlefish for the first time and need an aquarium, try searching for a used saltwater tank on eBay or Craigslist. You may be able to find someone who wants to get rid of their aquarium if you are lucky enough. This way you can save even more than 40%.

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