Cape Hope Squid

(Loligo reynaudii)

Calamari, Baby calamari, Chokka, inkvis, Kalamari, squid heads, Tjokka, Tjokker

1. What is it?

Cape Hope squid are fast growing squid from the loligonidae family. Cape Hope squid spawn all year round and are highly sensitive to environmental conditions. The stock assessment was updated in 2016 indicating a slight increase in biomass producing a more optimistic outlook than the previous assessment. Fishing effort, although increasing, has been below recommended TAE levels. Cape Hope squid are targeted by the jig fishery and caught as bycatch in the inshore trawl fishery for hake (MSC certified) and sole.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Jigging

Cape Hope squid are caught using a method known as jigging. Jigs are either hand held using a handline and a jig (a coloured plastic lure with barbs covering the bottom) or they are series of baited hooks attached to longlines that are dragged at irregular interval creating a jerking movement (bait appears to be moving). Jigging for squid generally takes place at night with bright spotlights that also attract species to the boat. It is a highly selective method with little impact on the environment and bycatch tends to be very small. There is a possibility benthic damage through the use of anchors and chains but this is not anticipated to be significant.

Inshore demersal trawl

Cape Hope squid are caught as bycatch using trawl nets that are dragged along the seabed at depths up to the 110 m isobath or 20 nautical miles from the coast. This type of trawling is known to damage the seabed; however the extent and impact of damage remains unknown. Trawling is not a very selective fishing method and a number of other species are often caught in the nets (fish, sharks and rays). Substantial effort has been made to reduce seabird deaths through the use of tori lines (bird-scaring lines) and work is underway to better understand impacts on endangered, threatened or protected species.

3.Where is it from?

Jigging

Cape Hope Squid are distributed from Namibia to the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape. The majority of jigged squid is caught between Plettenberg Bay and Port Alfred. The fishery is managed in the form of a Total Allowable Effort (TAE) limit, closed season (four weeks to three months) and a number of permit limitations on vessel and crew size. Management is considered to be partly effective.

Inshore demersal trawl

Cape hope squid are caught as bycatch in the inshore trawl fishery for hake (MSC certified) and sole mainly on the Agulhas Bank off the South Coast. Management is considered to be largely effective and mainly focused on the target species (hake and sole) in the form of Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and permit limitations. Additional measures in place include precautionary catch limits and fishing only in historical fishing grounds. More effort is required to improve at-sea scientific observation of fishing activities to better understand ecosystem impacts.