2016 Assessment of the Squid Stock complex in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands
Squids are marine molluscs in the class Cephalopoda (Group Decapodiformes). They are streamlined animals with ten appendages (2 tentacles, 8 arms) extending from the head, and lateral fins extending from the rear of the mantle. Squids are active predators which swim by jet propulsion, reaching swimming speeds up to 40 km/hr, the fastest of any aquatic invertebrate. Squids also hold the record for largest size of any invertebrate (Barnes 1987).
In the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands regions there are at least 15 species of squid (Table 1). The most abundant species is Berryteuthis magister (magistrate armhook squid). Members of these 15 species come from six families in two orders and can be found from 10 m to greater than 1500 m. Most species are associated with the slope and basin, with the highest species diversity along the slope region of the Bering Sea between 200 – 1500 m. Since most of the data come from groundfish survey bottom trawls, the information on abundance and distribution of those species associated with the bottom is much more accurate than that of the pelagic species.