Squid research in South Africa

The South African chokka squid, Loligo reynaudii, is a fast growing, short-lived squid species. Although originally caught as bycatch by the trawl fishery and sold locally as bait; the taste and texture of this calamari species led to high demands on the European market, and hence the rapid development of a local chokka squid fishery in 1985. With the ever increasing economic importance and expansion of this local fishery, the need arose for effective management and a better understanding of the life cycle and distribution of this species. Since 1986, numerous research studies have been carried out and the chokka squid can now be considered one of the worlds’ most well studied squid species.

Over the years, DIFS postgraduates have contributed to this growing body of knowledge through their exciting MSc and PhD research. From laboratory based to field based studies, from sample collection on research ships and fishing boats to diving on the inshore squid spawning grounds, projects have investigated the lifecycle, stock structure, oceanographic environment, mating, spawning behaviour and spawning habitat of this species. Current research is focused on the paternity of offspring through the capture of mating pairs and fertilised egg capsules; the effect of the ocean environment on squid and how this influences fishery catches; and the potential damage of fishing boat anchors to the squid eggs deposited on the sea floor.

Last Modified: Sat, 16 Mar 2024 17:02:29 SAST