Last updated on 18 January 2018
In the Eastern Pacific Jumbo flying squid is captured by industrial fleets (i.e., China, Korea, and Japan) off Ecuador, Peru and Chile’s EEZ where they are assessed within each country, (Rosa et al. 2013; Morales-Bojórquez and Pacheco-Bedoya 2016). However, since Dosidicus gigas have a short life cycle (<2 years), are highly migratory, and their recruitment processes are driven by the environment; its assessment and management off EEZs represent a big challenge (Rodhouse 2001; Rosa et al. 2013).
In 2014, the Ministry of Fisheries (MAGAP, now MAP Ministerio de Acuacultura y Pesca), decided to start the Jumbo flying squid fishery in Ecuador as a new commercial activity destined for direct human consumption, delegating the responsibility for monitoring this fishery to the National Fisheries Institute - INP (MAGAP 2014). However, this fishery has started with limited biological and fisheries information (necessary for stock assessment), resulting up to this date in a fishery based on passive management (Morales-Bojórquez and Pacheco-Bedoya 2016).
Although some basic information regarding population dynamics of the Jumbo flying squid is unknown (e.g., number of cohorts in the population), there is a hypothesis that can help assessing the stock while new information collected by INP is processed. For example, the seasonal presence of Jumbo flying squid in Ecuadorian waters can be explained by the incursion of cold waters from the Humboldt Current System (HCS) in the coastal zones of Ecuador, explaining the seasonal changes in spatial and temporal distribution of D. gigas (Morales-Bojórquez and Pacheco-Bedoya 2016). The use of several stock assessment methods is necessary while taking into account the uncertainty in abundance estimates, different methodological approaches and data collected (Morales-Bojórquez and Pacheco-Bedoya 2016).
Last updated on 19 August 2019
There are not recommendations and no reference points are set at a whole-stock level.
Last updated on 19 August 2019
The regulation signed in 2014 provides the framework for assessing this new fishery. In this document is stated that the information obtained by industrial onboard observers will be sent to the INP so they can set up TACs and MSYs for Dosidicus gigas in Ecuador (MAGAP 2014).
According to scientists, the fishery in Ecuador must be managed considering two different geographic locations: (1) the coast of the Ecuadorian Pacific, and (b) Galapagos Islands (Morales-Bojórquez and Pacheco-Bedoya 2016).
No stock assessment including the whole stock is yet conducted.
Changes in biomass and vulnerability are unknown for Jumbo flying squid in Ecuadorian waters even when this fishery has been partially monitored (Morales-Bojórquez and Pacheco-Bedoya 2016). Rough estimates from the INP suggested that total biomass was 641,915 tonnes and 1,866,857 tonnes in 2013 and 2014, respectively (INP 2018). Estimates from 2015 and forward are not available.
Small-scale driftnet fisheries also capture Jumbo flying squid as bycatch (Morales-Bojórquez and Pacheco-Bedoya 2016), however, the amount of the jumbo flying squid bycatch has not been quantified. In 2018, during the Scientific Prospecting Cruise for Small Pelagic Fishes using purse-seine nets, 21% of the captures (in weight) corresponded to Dosidicus gigas. Additionally, the average mantle length (ML) was lower that the length at first maturity observed for D. gigas captured by jiggers, which may result in a major threaten for small individuals (ML<30 cm) (Pacheco Bedoya 2018).
Landings in Ecuador have been reported since 2012; these have been highly variable probably due to environmental factors. Landings peaked in 2014 at 18,146 tonnes. Critical decreases have been observed after that year with only 1,279 tonnes and 485 tonnes reported in 2015 and 2016, respectively (FAO 2018). This drop could be explained by the intense warm event that occurred between these years due to El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) because it is know that Jumbo flying squid abundance seems to be strongly affected by high intensity of El Niño events (Rosa et al. 2013).