URI Graduate School of Oceanography Biologist Explores the Dynamics of the East Coast Squid

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URI Graduate School of Oceanography Biologist Explores the Dynamics of the East Coast Squid Population Narragansett, R.I .– December 14, 2000 — Although the long-finned inshore squid population is not at risk, there are indications that overfishing is occurring. To preserve a healthy squid population, an effective fisheries management plan, based on sound data, must be developed and implemented. To that end, URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) biologist William Macy is studying the life history of the Loligo pealeii squid population and providing data to federal agencies on its growth, maturation, and numbers. His research is part of a recent $48,000 grant from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Macy, a resident of North Kingstown, will study a large sample of the long-finned inshore squid to determine how growth rates and ages vary with season and latitude. This species of squid has an average life span of approximately 10 months and is usually captured at 5-6 months old. The most recent NMFS Stock Assessment Review Committee (1999) determined that the fishing mortality for the winter fishery of loligo squid averaged 80% over the point at which the maximum sustainable yield can be realized. In spite of that, the production model in place supports the potential for rapid stock rebuilding. Macy’s study will be a collaborative effort with Dr. Steve Cadrin of the NMFS in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Once all the squid have been aged and the data assessed, Macy will identify the major hatching periods and regions to determine seasonal and geographic variations in the ages and rates of maturation. The data will then be used to create and test various management schemes. Contact: Lisa Cugini, 874-6642, lcugini@gso.uri.edu