About The Species
U.S. wild-caught shortfin squid is a smart seafood choice because it is sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations.
The population level is unknown. The species has a lifespan of less than one year.
At recommended level.
Fishing gears used to harvest shortfin squid have minimal impacts on habitat.
Regulations are in place to minimize bycatch.
- According to the latest assessment, shortfin squid is not subject to overfishing. There is currently not enough information to determine the population size, so it is unknown.
- Female shortfin squid range from 7 to 12 inches in mantle length, while males are 7 to 10.6 inches in mantle length.
- They can regulate their body color, but are primarily orange-colored with a brown stripe that extends along the top side of the mantle.
- Shortfin squid live for less than one year. They have a high natural mortality rate, and a long spawning season.
- Females can release multiple egg masses during a single spawning season, but die after they spawn. Spawning can occur year round with seasonal peaks from October to June.
- Shortfin squid have extremely variable birth, growth, and maturity rates. This makes them extremely sensitive to climate-driven changes.
- They grow about one millimeter a day.
- Shortfin squid are visual predators that eat crustaceans, fish, and other squid, including their own species.
- They are food for many fish, including bluefin tuna, silver hake, red hake, bluefish, goosefish, fourspot flounder, Atlantic cod, sea raven, spiny dogfish, and swordfish. Seabird predators include shearwaters, gannets, and fulmars.
- Shortfin squid undergo daily vertical migrations between cooler deep water and warmer surface water. They are nearest the seabed during the day, and higher in the water column during the night.
Where They Live
- Shortfin squid inhabits the continental shelf and slope waters of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, from Newfoundland to the central east coast of Florida.
- In the northwest Atlantic Ocean, shortfin squid are most often caught along the continental shelf break in depths between 150 to 275 meters.
- NOAA Fisheries and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council manage the shortfin squid fishery.
- Managed under the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan:
- Fishermen with a limited access permit can fish for unlimited amounts of shortfin squid while the fishery is open. All other fishermen must obtain an incidental catch permit, and have possession limits.
- An annual coastwide catch quota is set annually. Managers monitor annual quotas closely, as there can be large fluctuations in abundance from year to year.
Recreational Fishing Regulations
Commercial Fishing Regulations
Coming soon. Please visit our Mackerel, Squid, Butterfish page on our old website for information.