Interannual variation in life-cycle characteristics of the veined squid (Loligo forbesi) in Scottish (UK) waters

G J Pierce, A F Zuur, J M Smith, M B Santos, N Bailey, C S Chen, P R Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The loliginid squid Loligo forbesi has a flexible life-cycle, involving variable size and age at maturity, presence of summer and winter breeding populations, and extended periods of breeding and recruitment. This paper reviews life history data collected since 1983 from the commercial fishery in Scottish (UK) waters, alongside fishery data collected since 1970, and examines (a) the relationship between body size and timing of maturation, (b) evidence for shifts in the relative abundance of the summer and winter breeding populations, and (c) the possible role of environmental signals in determining the timing of breeding. Evidence from fishery data suggests that, since the 1970s, the summer breeding population has declined while the winter breeding population now dominates and breeds later than was previously the case. Length-weight relationships and size at maturity showed significant inter-annual and seasonal variation during the period 1983-2001. Males are shown to decline in relative weight as they mature while females increase in relative weight; possible interpretations are discussed. High autumn/winter temperatures (high winter NAO values) were associated with high squid abundance and precocious maturation and tended to favour high abundance in the following year, along with increased body weight at length and a decrease in the proportion of animals breeding in December. High abundance in summer, conversely, leads to a fall of body weight at length in the following year. Thus there may be alternation of precocious and slow maturation. and/or summer and winter breeding, driven by a combination of environmental conditions and intraspecific competition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-340
Number of pages14
JournalAquatic Living Resources
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • life history
  • maturation
  • population dynamics
  • time series
  • environmental factors
  • loligo-forbesi
  • irish waters
  • reproductive strategies
  • steenstrup cephalopoda
  • fished population
  • loliginidae
  • recruitment
  • variability
  • abundance
  • growth


Dive into the research topics of 'Interannual variation in life-cycle characteristics of the veined squid (Loligo forbesi) in Scottish (UK) waters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this