Distribution and Abundance of the Fished Population of Loligo-Forbesiin UK Waters: Analysis of fishery data

Graham John Pierce, P R BOYLE, L C HASTIE, A M SHANKS

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56 Citations (Scopus)


UK fisheries for the squid Loligo forbesi are described, based mainly on analysis of fishery statistical data (1980-1990) held in the Scottish Office Agriculture and Fisheries Department (SOAFD) and Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) databases, and synthesis of published and unpublished information from various sources including interviews with Scottish fishermen. The weight and value of squid landings in the UK have increased substantially during the last decade, particularly in Scotland. While squid landed in Scotland are thought to consist almost exclusively of Loligo forbesi, landings in England and Wales may contain a significant proportion of Loligo vulgaris. Squid are landed primarily as a by catch of trawling and seining finfish fisheries although some directed fishing takes place, particularly at Rockall. There is limited use of jigs, although most reported trials of jigging gear have been unsuccessful. Squid are caught throughout UK waters, although the most important fishing areas vary from year to year. Scottish landings come from all around the coast of Scotland, particularly the Moray Firth, as well as from Rockall and (historically) Faroe Bank. Landings from Rockall are apparently unpredictable, with large amounts of squid being caught in 1986, 1987 and 1989 but almost none during the rest of the decade. Squid landed in England and Wales are also taken from a wide area, including the English Channel, Celtic Sea, Rockall, and (historically) the Bay of Biscay. Records of Scottish landings from 1904 suggest the existence of a 15 year cycle of abundance. The seasonal pattern of landings in Scotland shows a predictable seasonal pattern, with most landings from coastal waters occurring in October and November and most landings from Rockall in June and August. Results of correlation analyses of landings, fishing effort and CPUE data are generally consistent with a by-catch fishery on a patchily distributed resource, suggesting that CPUE is a reasonable index of abundance except for areas such as Rockall where there is a significant proportion of directed fishing. UK squid stocks are currently neither assessed nor managed, and the status of squid as primarily a by-catch precludes most management options. However, given the relatively high quality of data routinely collected, and assuming implementation of checks on species identification and compilation of data at least weekly, stock assessment should be possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-216
Number of pages24
JournalFisheries Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1994


  • Atlantic
  • Loligo Forbesi
  • population structure


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