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CA Market Squid: Research Changing Future Management Actions
This story entered on 30th Aug, 2004 10:17:45 AM PST

The California market squid (Loligo opalescens Berry) is the prime focus of California fishery operations, making it California's largest fishery. It has ranked first in dollar value and tons landed in recent years. The California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), responsible for managing the California market squid, has received limited support for research into the squid's life history and reproductive behavior. Consequently, CDFG has largely based its management decisions on findings and observations that suggest squid spawn at night.

Results from NURP-sponsored research, recently published in Fishery Bulletin and Marine Biology, suggest that California market squid lay most of their eggs during the day, and not at night, as has been previously assumed. This finding may have major implications on the future management of squid in California.

Note: Roger Hanlon and Nuutti Kangas of the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, and John Forsythe of the National Resource Center for Cephalopods at the University of Texas, conducted this work over a sixteen-month period, with funding from NURP's West Coast and Polar Regions Center. Research was conducted using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to collect systematic video data of mating and egg-laying behavior. The in-situ observations in Monterey Bay clearly showed that normal mating and egg-laying behavior occur only during the daytime, ending at dusk. Furthermore, results indicate that the rate of egg laying is slow, suggesting that egg beds are built up over many days, not in rapid spawning events that are assumed to occur over one to two nights.


John Forsythe, Nuuti Kangas, and Roger T Hanlon. 2004. Does the California market squid (Loligo opalescens Berry) spawn naturally during the day or at night? A note on the successful use of ROVs to obtain basic fisheries biology data. Fishery Bulletin. 2 (102): 389 - 392.

Roger T. Hanlon, Nuuti Kangas, and John W. Forsythe. 2004. Egg-capsule deposition and how behavior interactions influence spawning rate in the squid Loligo opalescens in Monterey Bay, California. Marine Biology, 145: 923-930.

Contact information
Name: Jennifer Reynolds
Tel: (907) 474-5871


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