1 MARKET SQUID Loligo opalescens Sometimes known as Opal Squid, Ika SUMMARY Market Squid are short-lived and can withstand intensive fishing pressure at their spawning grounds off the California coast, but they are vulnerable to large-scale changes in the environment driven by El Nino Southern Oscillation events. Accurate estimates of Market Squid abundance elude fisheries biologists and managers, which makes management of the population difficult at best. Chef Barton Seaver describes Market Squid this way, This classic seafood has a unique toothsome texture and a delicate mild flavor. Great on the grill, or for sautéing and poaching. Criterion Points Final Score Color Life History Abundance Habitat Quality and Fishing Gear Impacts Management 2.00 Bycatch 2.50 Final Score 2.60 Color
2 LIFE HISTORY Core Points (only one selection allowed) If a value for intrinsic rate of increase ( r ) is known, assign the score below based on this value. If no r-value is available, assign the score below for the correct age at 50% maturity for females if specified, or for the correct value of growth rate ('k'). If no estimates of r, age at 50% maturity, or k are available, assign the score below based on maximum age Intrinsic rate of increase <0.05; OR age at 50% maturity >10 years; OR growth rate <0.15; OR maximum age >30 years Intrinsic rate of increase = ; OR age at 50% maturity = 5-10 years; OR a growth rate = ; OR maximum age = years Intrinsic rate of increase >0.16; OR age at 50% maturity = 1-5 years; OR growth rate >0.30; OR maximum age <11 years. The intrinsic rate of increase for Market Squid is unknown but is thought to be very high (Butler, pers. comm., 11/29/04). Most individuals mature, spawn, and die within a year, and the average age of squid taken in the fishery is 6 months (PFMC 2002; CDFG 2004). Points of Adjustment (multiple selections allowed) Species has special behaviors that make it especially vulnerable to fishing pressure (e.g., spawning aggregations; site fidelity; segregation by sex; migratory bottlenecks; unusual attraction to gear; etc.). Market Squid aggregate to spawn. They are also attracted to bright lights and will school at the surface of the water in response to high-intensity lights used by squid fishing boats (PFMC 2002) Species has a strategy for sexual development that makes it especially vulnerable to fishing pressure (e.g., age at 50% maturity >20 years; sequential hermaphrodites; extremely low fecundity) Species has a small or restricted range (e.g., endemism; numerous evolutionarily significant units; restricted to one coastline; e.g., American lobster; striped bass; endemic reef fishes). Market Squid are found along the Pacific coasts of the U.S. and Mexico from southeastern Alaska to the southern tip of Baja California (PFMC 2002).
3 -0.25 Species exhibits high natural population variability driven by broad-scale environmental change (e.g. El Nino; decadal oscillations). Once or twice a decade, environmental changes due to El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events cause drastic temporary reductions in the abundance of Market Squid and other coastal pelagic species in the eastern Pacific. During these periods, Market Squid move off their traditional spawning grounds, causing reduced levels of reproduction in the population. The Market Squid population generally rebounds quickly, however (PFMC 2004) Species does not have special behaviors that increase ease or population consequences of capture OR has special behaviors that make it less vulnerable to fishing pressure (e.g., species is widely dispersed during spawning) Species has a strategy for sexual development that makes it especially resilient to fishing pressure (e.g., age at 50% maturity <1 year; extremely high fecundity). Spawning occurs year-round within the Market Squid population, and new cohorts enter the fishery at least 7 times a year (CDFG 2004). Therefore the abundance of Market Squid does not rely on spawning success within one short season or at a single spawning site, where temporarily poor conditions may decrease egg or hatchling survival rates (PFMC 2002). Rapid maturation and a short lifespan (usually 1 year) help Market Squid to withstand intensive fishing pressure at its spawning grounds (PFMC 2002) Species is distributed over a very wide range (e.g., throughout an entire hemisphere or ocean basin; e.g., swordfish; tuna; Patagonian toothfish) Species does not exhibit high natural population variability driven by broad-scale environmental change (e.g., El Nino; decadal oscillations) Points for Life History
4 ABUNDANCE Core Points (only one selection allowed) Compared to natural or un-fished level, the species population is: 1.00 Low: Abundance or biomass is <75% of BMSY or similar proxy (e.g., spawning potential ratio) Medium: Abundance or biomass is % of BMSY or similar proxy; OR population is approaching or recovering from an overfished condition; OR adequate information on abundance or biomass is not available. There are no statistically sound population estimates for Market Squid. Managers will use egg escapement (an estimate of the proportion of squid allowed to spawn prior to capture) as a temporary proxy measure for maximum sustainable yield (MSY). The minimum threshold established in Amendment 10 to the federal Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan for egg escapement is 30% (PFMC 2002). This proxy MSY Control Rule stipulates that managers must monitor egg escapement throughout the fishing season and ensure that fishing operations do not capture more than 70% of Squid that have yet to spawn. This threshold level is somewhat arbitrary: the relationship between the threshold and Market Squid abundance is not known. Defining overfishing and overfished conditions without biomass estimates is not possible; however, if egg escapement is below 30% two consecutive years, overfishing may be occurring (CDFG 2004). Managers do not know the current egg escapement rate for the Market Squid population, because the management scheme established by the California Department of Fish and Game is just being implemented. The California Market Squid fishery has set landings records 6 times since 1990, which reflects the continued growth of the fishery and increases in international demand. In 2000, landings totaled 117,962 metric tons. In 2001, landings dropped 27% to 86,186 metric tons, which is hypothesized to be due the effects of pre-el Nino Southern Oscillation environmental conditions on Squid distribution and reproduction (PFMC 2004). In 2002, landings dropped further to 72,870 metric tons (NOAA Fisheries Trade Statistics) High: Abundance or biomass is >125% of BMSY or similar proxy. Points of Adjustment (multiple selections allowed) The population is declining over a generational time scale (as indicated by biomass estimates or standardized CPUE) Age, size or sex distribution is skewed relative to the natural condition (e.g., truncated size/age structure or anomalous sex distribution).
5 -0.25 Species is listed as "overfished" OR species is listed as "depleted", "endangered", or "threatened" by recognized national or international bodies. This species is not overfished Current levels of abundance are likely to jeopardize the availability of food for other species or cause substantial change in the structure of the associated food web The population is increasing over a generational time scale (as indicated by biomass estimates or standardized CPUE). Although catch per unit effort (CPUE i.e. catch/fishing effort) of Market Squid has been increasing since the 1980s, we did not add points because this increase is likely due to technological, capacity, and regulatory changes, rather than increases in abundance (PFMC 2004) Age, size or sex distribution is functionally normal. Successful management of the Market Squid population relies on fishers capturing Squid that have already spawned, which can be discerned from anatomical evidence observed portside. Landings are almost entirely comprised of mature Squid, and there is little to no capture of immature individuals. The natural mortality rate of Squid is almost 100% in their first year (PFMC 2002). Fishing mortality that occurs at spawning grounds, therefore, probably does not adversely affect the natural age, size, or sex distribution of the population Species is close to virgin biomass Current levels of abundance provide adequate food for other predators or are not known to affect the structure of the associated food web. Market Squid play an important role in the ecosystem as prey for larger fish, seabirds, and marine mammals, such as sea lions (CDFG 2004; Hastings and MacWilliams 1999). There is evidence indicating that the Market Squid fishery is not decreasing the availability of squid to some predators in the food web. In 1999, Market Squid landings peaked at the highest level ever recorded, and sea lion pup production was also at the highest level observed for sea lions in 20 years (CDFG 2004). Whether the abundance of squid is adequate to meet the requirements of other species as prey is unknown (CDFG 2004; Hastings and MacWilliams 1999), however, so we chose not to reward points here until the relationship is further elucidated Points for Abundance
6 HABITAT QUALITY AND FISHING GEAR IMPACTS Core Points (only one selection allowed) Select the option that most accurately describes the effect of the fishing method upon the habitat that it affects 1.00 The fishing method causes great damage to physical and biogenic habitats (e.g., cyanide; blasting; bottom trawling; dredging) The fishing method does moderate damage to physical and biogenic habitats (e.g., bottom gillnets; traps and pots; bottom longlines) The fishing method does little damage to physical or biogenic habitats (e.g., hand picking; hand raking; hook and line; pelagic long lines; mid-water trawl or gillnet; purse seines). Fishers lure spawning aggregations of Market Squid to the surface of the water at night using light boats. These vessels have several high-powered lights attached. Then, fishers capture the squid with seine boats, using primarily purse and drum seines. Contact of purse seines with the seafloor is limited, and fishers avoid fishing over rocky bottoms in shallow waters to prevent damaging their nets (PFMC 2004). Points of Adjustment (multiple selections allowed) Habitat for this species is so compromised from non-fishery impacts that the ability of the habitat to support this species is substantially reduced (e.g., dams; pollution; coastal development) Critical habitat areas (e.g., spawning areas) for this species are not protected by management using time/area closures, marine reserves, etc No efforts are being made to minimize damage from existing gear types OR new or modified gear is increasing habitat damage (e.g., fitting trawls with roller rigs or rockhopping gear; more robust gear for deep-sea fisheries) If gear impacts are substantial, resilience of affected habitats is very slow (e.g., deep water corals; rocky bottoms) Habitat for this species remains robust and viable and is capable of supporting this species. Market Squid distribution is widespread and fishing efforts do not target all spawning grounds (CDFG 2004; PFMC 2002, 2004). In addition, disturbance to spawning grounds
7 due to fishing operations is thought to be limited, because seine nets do not generally contact the seafloor (PFMC 2004) Critical habitat areas (e.g., spawning areas) for this species are protected by management using time/area closures, marine reserves, etc. Fishing for Market Squid is prohibited on weekends, which comprise up to 29% of the fishing season (PFMC 2002, 2004) Gear innovations are being implemented over a majority of the fishing area to minimize damage from gear types OR no innovations necessary because gear effects are minimal. Gear effects on habitat from this fishery are minimal. However, high light levels from squid fishing vessels may be negatively affecting nesting seabirds on the Channel Islands. A petition was filed in 2002 to consider Xantus's murrelet for endangered species listing, which mentioned high predation on nesting birds caused by the lights from nearby fishing vessels. The California Department of Fish and Game proposed area and time closures, light shields, and maximum light limits to protect seabirds (CDFG 2004). We chose not to add points here until there is evidence that Market Squid fishing gear is no longer adversely affecting potentially endangered nesting seabirds If gear impacts are substantial, resilience of affected habitats is fast (e.g., mud or sandy bottoms) OR gear effects are minimal. Gear effects from this fishery are likely to be minimal Points for Habitat Quality and Fishing Gear Impacts
8 MANAGEMENT Core Points (only one selection allowed) Select the option that most accurately describes the current management of the fisheries of this species Regulations are ineffective (e.g., illegal fishing or overfishing is occurring) OR the fishery is unregulated (i.e., no control rules are in effect) Management measures are in place over a major portion over the species' range but implementation has not met conservation goals OR management measures are in place but have not been in place long enough to determine if they are likely to achieve conservation and sustainability goals. The California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) recently adopted a fishery management plan for Market Squid, because they were concerned that the lack of research on Squid and its abundance could lead to overfishing of the Market Squid population, economic hardship for Squid fishers and communities, and harm to the marine life that depend on Squid (CDFG 2004). The fishery is also managed as a 'Monitored Stock' by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council's (PFMC) Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan. The PFMC delegated management authority of Squid in federal waters to the CDFG, however, so that the CDFG now currently manages the entire California Market Squid fishery (CDFG 2004). In 2001, the CDFG set a catch guideline of 113,398 metric tons for the Market Squid fishery (CDFG 2004). In 2004, it set a seasonal catch limit of 107,048 mt (CDFG 2004). Despite improvements in management, the lack of a thorough stock assessment of Market Squid causes moderate concern as to the sustained future of this important fishery Substantial management measures are in place over a large portion of the species range and have demonstrated success in achieving conservation and sustainability goals. Points of Adjustment (multiple selections allowed) There is inadequate scientific monitoring of stock status, catch or fishing effort. There are limited data available on Market Squid populations from fishery-independent sources, which are needed to develop robust abundance estimates and to understand the distribution and life history of fished species. Robust estimates of Market Squid abundance and biomass do not exist, and it is uncertain whether the species is comprised of more than one population. Management of the fishery based on the egg-escapement model is considered to be a temporary solution until accurate measures of biomass are developed. Also, the disturbance of egg cases during fishing operations needs to be
9 explored further, so that bycatch mortality of Squid eggs can accounted for in future population models (CDFG 2004) Management does not explicitly address fishery effects on habitat, food webs, and ecosystems. The California Department of Fish and Game's fishery management plan addresses the need for further exploration of the vital role Market Squid plays as forage for larger fish, marine mammals, and seabirds (CDFG 2004). The lack of biomass data for Market Squid, however, prevents managers from ensuring that the size of Squid populations is adequate to sustain predator populations; therefore points are subtracted This species is overfished and no recovery plan or an ineffective recovery plan is in place Management has failed to reduce excess capacity in this fishery or implements subsidies that result in excess capacity in this fishery There is adequate scientific monitoring, analysis and interpretation of stock status, catch and fishing effort Management explicitly and effectively addresses fishery effects on habitat, food webs, and ecosystems This species is overfished and there is a recovery plan (including benchmarks, timetables and methods to evaluate success) in place that is showing signs of success OR recovery plan is not needed. A recovery plan is not needed Management has taken action to control excess capacity or reduce subsidies that result in excess capacity OR no measures are necessary because fishery is not overcapitalized. The California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) established a permit moratorium in During the season, there were 248 vessel permits and 53 light boat permits sold. In , the permit numbers dropped to 185 for vessels and 40 for light boats (CDFG 2004). The draft fishery management plan developed by the CDFG calls for a 'moderately productive and specialized' fleet capacity. Limited entry to the fishery will be dependent on prior catch or fishing history (CDFG 2004) Points for Management
10 BYCATCH Core Points (only one selection allowed) Select the option that most accurately describes the current level of bycatch and the consequences that result from fishing this species. The term, "bycatch" used in this document excludes incidental catch of a species for which an adequate management framework exists. The terms, "endangered, threatened, or protected," used in this document refer to species status that is determined by national legislation such as the U.S. Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act (or another nation's equivalent), the IUCN Red List, or a credible scientific body such as the American Fisheries Society Bycatch in this fishery is high (>100% of targeted landings), OR regularly includes a "threatened, endangered or protected species." 2.00 Bycatch in this fishery is moderate (10-99% of targeted landings) AND does not regularly include "threatened, endangered or protected species" OR level of bycatch is unknown. Bycatch of non-targeted species in the Market Squid fishery is assumed to be low, but specific estimates are unknown (CDFG 2004; PFMC 2004). About 50% of portside samples of Squid landings in 2002 contained bycatch (PFMC 2004). The California Department of Fish and Game's portside sampling program observed bycatch in a lower percentage of landings (37%) from samples collected from 1998 to 2003 (CDFG 2004). Most of the bycatch observed by both sampling programs consisted of other coastal pelagic species, including Pacific sardine, chub mackerel, northern anchovy, and jack mackerel (CDFG 2004; PFMC 2004). Incidentally captured species, such as sardines, can be sold for reduction, which reduces the amount of discards in the fishery (PFMC 2004). Also, fishers avoid fishing over rocky bottoms in shallow waters to prevent damage to their nets. In these areas, high amounts of bycatch are probable (PFMC 2004). Squid egg capsules, which are attached to the substrate by the females, however, are occasionally seen in catches, and the potential effects of egg bycatch on the population of Market Squid is a source of concern (CDFG 2004) Bycatch in this fishery is low (<10% of targeted landings) and does not regularly include "threatened, endangered or protected species." Points of Adjustment (multiple selections allowed) Bycatch in this fishery is a contributing factor to the decline of "threatened, endangered, or protected species" and no effective measures are being taken to reduce it Bycatch of targeted or non-targeted species (e.g., undersize individuals) in this fishery is high and no measures are being taken to reduce it.
11 -0.25 Bycatch of this species (e.g., undersize individuals) in other fisheries is high OR bycatch of this species in other fisheries inhibits its recovery, and no measures are being taken to reduce it The continued removal of the bycatch species contributes to its decline Measures taken over a major portion of the species range have been shown to reduce bycatch of "threatened, endangered, or protected species" or bycatch rates are no longer deemed to affect the abundance of the "protected" bycatch species OR no measures needed because fishery is highly selective (e.g., harpoon; spear). Bycatch in this fishery does not include threatened, endangered, or protected species There is bycatch of targeted (e.g., undersize individuals) or non-targeted species in this fishery and measures (e.g., gear modifications) have been implemented that have been shown to reduce bycatch over a large portion of the species range OR no measures are needed because fishery is highly selective (e.g., harpoon; spear). As long as Market Squid fisheries continue to fish over spawning aggregations, bycatch of immature individuals will be minimal (PFMC 2002). More than 99% of Squid landings analyzed by the California Department of Fish and Game s portside sampling program from 1998 to 2000 could be sexed, which indicates that sexually immature Squid are rare at spawning grounds (CDFG 2004). Bycatch of egg cases, however, has increased over the last several years, indicating contact of fishing gear with benthic spawning grounds. In 2003, Squid eggs were found in 10.9% of Squid landings, a six-fold increase in the percentage of egg bycatch during 2001 (PFMC 2004). Because the effects of egg bycatch on Squid populations and on modelling squid population dynamics remains to be explored, we choose not to award points here Bycatch of this species in other fisheries is low OR bycatch of this species in other fisheries inhibits its recovery, but effective measures are being taken to reduce it over a large portion of the range. Trawl fisheries for sea cucumber and ridgeback prawn captured approximately 2 metric tons of Market Squid in 2002 and Compared to landings of the directed Market Squid fishery, this figure is low. Impacts of trawl fisheries, though, on spawning ground habitat and, subsequently, on the Market Squid population should be further examined (PFMC 2004).
12 +0.25 The continued removal of the bycatch species in the targeted fishery has had or will likely have little or no impact on populations of the bycatch species OR there are no significant bycatch concerns because the fishery is highly selective (e.g., harpoon; spear) Points for Bycatch REFERENCES California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG). April Draft Market Squid Fishery Management Plan. Available online at on 10/1/2004. Hastings, S. and S. MacWilliams Report on Multi-species and Multi-interest Management: An Ecosystem Approach to Market Squid (Loligo opalescens) Harvest in California. Panel Discussion at the Squid Symposium of the California Cooperative Oceanic and Fisheries Investigations Conference. Marine Sanctuaries Division of NOAA. Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC). December Amendment 8: The Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan. PFMC. August Amendment 10: Limited Entry Fleet Capacity Management and a Market Squid Maximum Sustainable Yield Control Rule. PFMC. June Status of the Pacific Coast Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery and Recommended Acceptable Biological Catches (Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation). Waldeck, D. NOAA. 10/7/2004. Personal communication.