Date of this Version
Fisheries Research 199 (2018) 12–18
The fishery for market squid (Doryteuthis opalescens) in California is typical of many of the world’s cephalopod fisheries, in that a very short life span and the effect of environmental forcing on recruitment result in enormous interannual variability in catches and population size. We evaluate the utility of a pre-recruit index of squid abundance that is based on midwater trawl sampling in the 3–5 months preceding the onset of the fishery as a basis for predicting landings. Catches in the survey largely represent squid in the 30–50 mm dorsal mantle length size range, representing individuals 30–90 day old. Catch-per-unit-effort statistics are derived from simple twofactor Δ-Generalized Linear Models, with year and station as main effects and numbers per tow as the dependent variable. Regional models for northern and southern squid populations are developed. Pre-recruit indices, as well as indices of squid prey (krill) abundance are compared with landings data, as well as estimates of squid spawning stock biomass derived from an egg escapement model. Our results show that the abundance of prerecruit market squid and krill sampled in the survey tracks both catches and overall population size, providing the potential to forecast landings. Our findings are consistent with a sparse but growing literature showing the potential utility of pre-recruit surveys to inform fisheries participants and managers.