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Squid in ICES areas VIIe-h (Celtic Sea and Western English Channel), Demersal otter trawl

fish

Loligo vulgarus, Loligo forbesi

Content last updated
18th Jan 2017

Stock:
Squid in ICES areas VIIe-h (Celtic Sea and Western English Channel)

Management:
None

Overview

Squids taken commercially by demersal otter trawl in the ICES divisions VII e, f, g & h represent a mixture of species belonging to families of Loliginidae (Loligo vulgaris, L.forbesi, Alloteuthis subulata, A. media) and Ommastrephidae (Todarodes sagittatus, Illex coindeti and Todaropsis eblanae). Loliginid squids are mostly abundant in divisions VIId and VIIe (English Channel) where 71% of the total catch in the ICES area VII was taken in both 2012 and 2013 (ICES 2013, 2014). Divisions VIIg‐k (Celtic sea and SW of Ireland, 15% of catches) followed by VIIf (Bristol Channel 10%) were also important fishing areas. Ommastrephid squids are of secondary importance and are fished in more or less similar amount of a few hundred tons per year between ICES divisions VIIbc (West of Ireland and Porcupine Bank), VIId, e (English Channel), and VIIg-k (Celtic Sea and SW of Ireland), though in some years catches of this family west of Ireland can attain 1,200-1,300 t mostly due to immigration of T.sagittatus.  All these species have short and flexible life cycles (around one year, up to 2 years in T.sagittatus), very fast growth rates, non-specialised predatory behaviour (preying on any food of convenient size) and round the year spawning with species-specific seasonal peaks. Loliginidae lay eggs on the bottom in inshore waters, whereas Ommastrephidae produce pelagic egg masses of neutral buoyancy. Among these seven species, only T.sagittatus does not reproduce there, being a seasonal immigrant. Because of the short annual life cycle the squid stocks heavily depend on recruitment success and are highly fluctuating between years.

 

The fishery for these squids, which are taken mainly as a bycatch, is carried out by EC vessels (mostly France, >70% of the total squid catch in the area).  The catch is not reported by species, and some fleets do not distinguish between squids of these two families (ICES, 2014).

Stock Status

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Fishery for squids in ICES divisions VII e,f,g & h (English Channel, Bristol Channel and Celtic Sea) has been scored moderate risk. This is because vulnerability of these squids as assessed by SealifeBase is generally moderate, and little is known about population trends of particular species. It is worth noticing that vulnerability of 50 for T.sagittatus is not applicable for fisheries in ICES area VII as the species does not reproduce there and is just a seasonal visitor. The high vulnerability of 56 for L.forbesi seems also to be an over-exaggeration for ICES area VII, and likely it might be drawn from a recent decrease in species numbers in the southern part of the range, off Portugal, due to climatic changes. However, this process was accompanied by an increasing trend in abundance in the northern part of the species range and by relative stability in the English and French waters (Chen et al., 2006; ICES 2013; ICES 2015 unpublished).

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Management

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The management of the squids in ICES areas VII e,f,g & h has been scored a moderate risk. This is because data from prosecuting fisheries and research surveys are collected regularly, but are not adequate for the stock assessment that would be required to inform management of these populations. There are no management measures in place to restrict catch of a particular species involved into this multi-species fishery because there is no species-specific reporting, though surveillance of fisheries in the area is at the highest level.

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Bycatch

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The bycatch risk of this fishery has been scored moderate risk. This is because squids represent a bycatch of larger demersal otter trawl fisheries targeting finfish in which discarded undesirable bycatch can represent over a quarter of the total catch.  Squid discards (bycatch of the bycatch) are highly variable between fleets.

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Habitat

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The habitat risk of this fishery has been scored a moderate risk.  This is because demersal otter trawls are in regular contact with seabed, and otter doors both penetrate seabed and cause seabed abrasion, and surface abrasion caused by ground gear, sweeps and bridles. However, vulnerable habitats are protected by a coherent network of Marine Protected Areas.

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Outlook

Type Current Risk Status Outlook Reason

Stock

Moderate Stable

This is because vulnerability of these squids as assessed by SealifeBase is generally moderate, and nothing is known about population trends in particular species.

Management

Data from prosecuting fisheries and research surveys are collected regularly but not enough for stock management in confidence. There are no management measures in place to restrict a catch of a particular species involved into this multi-species fishery because there is no species-specific reporting, though surveillance of fisheries in the area is at the highest level.

Bycatch

Moderate Improving

Squids themselves represent a bycatch of larger demersal otter trawl fisheries targeting finfish. In these fisheries undesirable bycatch (all commercial and non-commercial species combined) is about 1/3-1/4 of the total catch by weight and 2/3 by numbers. Squid discards (bycatch of the bycatch) are highly variable between fleets and are not known for the predominating French fleet.

Habitat

Moderate Improving

Demersal otter trawls are in regular contact with seabed, and otter doors both penetrate seabed and cause seabed abrasion, and surface abrasion caused by ground gear, sweeps and bridles. However, vulnerable habitats are protected by a coherent network of Marine Protected Areas.

Nutritional Information

 
Energy
81 (kcal)
4%*
LOW
Fat
1.7 (g)
3%*
LOW
Saturates
0.4 (g)
2%*
LOW
Sugar
Tr
Tr%*
LOW
Salt
0.28 (g)
5%*

*per 100 g

Nutrition information per 100g raw product

Rich in Omega-3 | Protein | Vitamin B6 | Vitamin B12 | Copper | Selenium

Good Source Of Niacin | Phosphorus

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Further Information

Information on status of this stock would be provided by annual assessments of ICES WGCEPH and available at www.ices.dk.