Argentine Shortfin Squid

(Illex argentinus)

Argentine Shortfin Squid

1. What is it?

Argentine Shortfin Squid (Illex argentines) are short lived, fast growing species that are highly susceptible to environmental changes. As a result, stocks experience large fluctuations in numbers and biomass. Argentine shortfin squid is considered to be fully fished due to high abundances and catch levels. Fishing rate is unknown.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Jigging

Argentine shortfin squid are caught using jigs. The fishery has no impact on Endangered, Threatened or Protected species and bycatch is minimal. Discards are also considered to be low and there is no impact on benthic habitats.

Midwater trawl

Argentine shortfin squid are also caught using midwater trawl nets. Midwater trawling takes place in the pelagic zone between the seabed and surfaces. Impact on Endangered, Threatened and Protected species is uncertain with some concern regarding catches of turtles. Bycatch is considered to be low whilst catches of juveniles are high but managed reducing any potential impact. Discards are considered to be low. Midwater trawling for squid may negatively affect the benthic habitat as nets are often dragged near the seafloor however the extent of damage remains unknown.

3. Where is it from?

Argentine shortfin squid are caught in the Southwestern Atlantic (FAO 41), Falklands (Argentina & UK) and imported into South Africa.

Jigging

Management is considered to be partly effective due to concerns surrounding the long term sustainability of the resource due to fact that a large portion of the catch is on the High Seas where enforcement of regulations is difficult and the chance of IUU increases. Monitoring and data availability is largely effective and compliance and enforcement has improved slightly due to the introduction of on-board cameras.

Midwater trawl

Management is considered to be partly effective due to concerns surrounding the long term sustainability of the resource and potential impact on ETP species. The distribution of the fishery and stock over two EEZs and the High Seas make enforcement of regulations difficult and lead to increased IUU fishing catches.