Squid Science

Dosidicus gigas narrow

SQUID SCIENCE

The jumbo flying squid Dosidicus gigas fishery in SPRFMO has developed as one of the predominant targeted fisheries in the SPRFMO Convention Area. The fishery is largely carried out by jigging vessels operating in the eastern region of the Convention Area, outside the Latin American areas of national jurisdiction. In 2022, the Squid Working Group (WG) convened several workshops to discuss squid catch and effort, genetics, and to work towards the development of a quantitative stock assessment.

With respect to stock assessment modeling, three different models were presented by the Squid WG and 10th Scientific Committee (SC10-SQ04, SC10-SQ10, SC10-Obs03); however, each had important limitations and uncertainties. The WG agreed that none of the models had enough support to be applied and used to produce management advice. Development of a reliable assessment models remains a priority and is the focus of ongoing research.

The life history characteristics of jumbo flying squid, including relatively short life span and the existence of multiple phenotypes, combined with the spatiotemporal scale of data collection pose challenges for assessing the status and trends of the population. Scientists from around the globe gathered in 2022 to assess the utility of different effort metrics for constraining the fishery as well as for monitoring trends in catch per unit effort. SC10 (2022) recommended that until a reliable assessment model has been produced, development of the squid CMM should focus on monitoring CPUE trends and constraining fishery effort as a precautionary approach. The SC also recommended the development of a squid genetics and connectivity task group to improve our understanding of squid population dynamics; this task group commenced its work in 2023.