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Major fishing grounds and fishing methods for Todarodes pacificus around the Japaense waters (Modified from Yamashita and Mori 2009)

Japanese flying squid visits fall below last year's slump

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Tuesday, October 04, 2022, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

Researchers predict lack of parents due to water temperature
Researchers from the Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency introduced the decline of various squid resources at the 2018 squid fishing and sea condition workshop held by the National Squid Processing Industry Cooperative in Tokyo on the 24th. 
New schematic view of reproductive processes of Japanese common squid, T. pacificus.
Shun Okamoto, a researcher at the Institute of Fisheries Research, Hokkaido, explained that this year's Pacific flying squid resources have plummeted due to water temperature conditions, resulting in a shortage of parent fish, and that even after improving conditions, they have not recovered. Junichi Abo, senior researcher at the Tohoku National Research Institute of Fisheries, said he doubted whether the catches of the giant squid (South American red squid - dosidicus gigas), which were expected to increase this year due to environmental conditions, were sluggish and whether the resources were really recovering.
Researcher Okamoto explained the winter-born population, which is the main squid fishery on the Pacific coast. It is difficult for newborn baby squid to survive unless the water temperature is between 18 and 23 degrees Celsius. The decrease in stocks led to a shortage of parent fish, and even in 2017 and 2018, when the water temperature distribution improved slightly, it was not possible to fully recover.
The catch survey before the flying squid (todarodes pacificus) squid fishing season this year did not show good results either, and it was concluded that the number of visitors to the fishing grounds is likely to be lower than last year, when the squid was caught badly. According to the national government's estimates, the stock of this group of flying squid, which was 710,000 tons in 2014, has decreased to 500,000 tons in 2015, 260,000 tons in 2016, 220,000 tons in 2017, and 180,000 tons this year.
Giant red squid (dosidicus gigas) Image: Global Fishing Watch

Doubts about the recovery of giant red squid
Researcher Abo introduces the slump of squid in South America. The catch of red squid (giant squid - dosidicus gigas) exceeded 500,000 tons in each of 2014 and 2015 in Peru, the main fishing ground, but has decreased to less than 300,000 tons in 2017. The stock has no signs of overfishing, and the impact of the El Niño phenomenon, which has had a negative impact on the stock, has disappeared in recent years. did. However, catches of the same species are sluggish again this year, and it is doubtful whether the resource has really recovered.
Abo also mentioned Argentine illex squid, which is used as a substitute for japanese common squid. He pointed out that there is no international organization to manage the resources of the same species in the high seas, which are the main fishing grounds, and that resource data is insufficient in the first place. The catch of illex squid outside EEZ in Argentina, which is an index of resources, has fallen and it seems that the situation is not good.

Peruvian artisanal fisherman with a giant red squid -->
Natsuko Miki, senior researcher at the Central Research Institute of Fisheries Research, also took the podium. If small and medium-sized squid processors are forced out of business due to a shortage of raw materials, not only will the local economy be hit, but processed products that are unique to small and medium-sized companies will disappear, and the product lineup will become monotonous.
Source: Minato-Yamagushi (translated from original in japanese)


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