Japanese Flying Squid

(Todarodes pacificus)

1. What is it?

Japanese Flying Squid (Todarodes pacificus) are short-lived species that experience highly erratic recruitment and wide fluctuations of abundance The Japanese flying squid, is one of the most heavily exploited squid species in the world. Stock status of Japanese flying squid is currently unknown and very difficult to predict. Fishing mortality is currently above sustainable levels putting additional pressure on the stock.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Jigging (mechanized lines)

Japanese flying squid are caught using jigs. The impact of the fishery on Endangered, Threatened or Protected species is unknown. Bycatch is also uncertain but thought to be low as the fishery target dense schools of squids.

Midwater trawl

Japanese flying squid are also caught using midwater trawl nets. Midwater trawling takes place in the pelagic zone between the seabed and surfaces. The impact of midwater trawl nets on Endangered, Threatened and Protected species is unknown. Bycatch and discards within the fishery is also unknown but thought to be low. Impact of midwater trawl nets on the benthic habitat is minimal.

Jigging/Mechanised lines

Mechanized lines and pole and lines (jiggs) are deemed to be highly selective, therefore negative impacts on ETP species are not likely. Discards , and survival rates are assumed to be low. The potential impact on the ecosystem is unknown. Benthic impact on the habitat is considered to be low.

3. Where is it from?

Japanese flying squid occurs mainly around and to the south of Japan and is fished by Japan, China, South and North Korea and Russia, with most of reported catches from Korea. Japanese flying squid are caught along the continental shelf and upper slope waters, from north of Japan into the Sea of Okhotsk and in the North Pacific heading east and imported into South Africa


There is no management system in place for this fishery and the lack of reliable fishery data raises some concern given the high level of fishing.

Midwater trawl

Management is considered to be marginally effective for this fishery due to concerns surrounding the reliability of fishery data and the high level of fishing

Jigging/Mechanised lines

Considering the large size of the North west Pacific (FAO 61) and the non-existing collaboration on squid stock management between the countries, management of this fishery does not exist.