Squid, Indian

Loligo duvauceli

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Jig
Capture area — Western Indian Ocean (FAO 51)
Stock area — India
Stock detail — All Areas
Picture of Squid, Indian

Sustainability rating three info

Sustainability overview

The Indian squid fishery is data deficient. There have been stock assessments, though they are out-of-date or are not specific for all of India’s seas. Most assessments point to the stock being fully-fished. Squid are often caught by jigging which is a very selective and low impact fishing method. There are few management measures and enforcement is poor, though jigging comprises a small proportion of the squid fishery and poses a low risk.


The Indian squid are distributed throughout the Red Sea and Arabian Sea, extending from Mozambique to the South China and the Philippines Sea and north towards Taiwan. They are found at depths of 0-170 m in bentho-pelagic habitats. They have a highly complex stock structure, high natural mortality, high growth rate, a short life-cycle but are not as fecund as other squid species. Indian squid vary in biology between east and west India: though there is not enough evidence currently available to prove that they are separate genetic stocks. Indian squid mature at around 90-130 mm mantle length (ML) for females and 70-150 mm ML for males and can produce between 740 - 14,924 eggs and they spawn all year round. They eat a wide variety of species and can even be cannibals.

Stock information

Stock Area


Stock information

The Indian squid constitutes up to 90% of the squid catches off of Thailand, and is also the major squid species in most Indian fisheries. U. duvaucelii is the most abundant squid species in Indian waters and the most common loliginid squid in Indo-Pacific waters. It is exploited by artisanal and commercial fisheries in India, Thailand, the Andamen Sea, Gulf of Aden, the Philippines, Malaysia, the Java Sea and appears in the commercial Hong Kong fishery, though India is likely to catch the largest proportion of Indian squid in the Indo-Pacific. The Indian squid are characterised by high natural mortality rates, high growth rates and a short life cycle. There is no IUCN assessment for the stock and the last full assessment for India was conducted in 1993. Since then, there have been numerous regional studies conducted, suggesting varied results, mostly stating that stocks are fully-fished, though a study finalised in February 2016 concluded that southwest Indian stocks are abundant.


The main organisations which manage Indian fisheries include the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Ministry of Agriculture. Fisheries management is legislated by the National Marine Fishing Regulation Act though fisheries legislation and regulations are managed by state governments. The U.S. Coast Guard responsible for policing the EEZ.

It is difficult to measure the effectiveness of management as stocks are assessed sporadically across the country. However, there are no harvest control rules for most species, including cephalopods. There are no national formal reference points for cephalopod species, though reference points are estimated in some regional stock assessments. Management does not incorporate a precautionary approach and there are no rebuilding plans in the event when the stock is depleted.

Since cephalopods are mostly caught as bycatch in trawl fisheries, it is difficult to set management measures purely for the jigging fleets which are likely making relatively minimal impact on the stock. India’s coastal fisheries are open access which are at greater risk to overfishing as they lack adequate monitoring and enforcement systems. Studies suggested that the fishery requires effort limits and a ban of large trawlers in shallow water was also suggested.

However, Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and discards are significant concerns in Indian fisheries and therefore, true fishing effort and mortality are unknown. Therefore, impacts of gear on bycatch, habitat and ecosystems vary vastly depending on gear type, location and management. This presents serious challenges for management. Governance is improving in some fisheries with increased stakeholder participation and publications of catch statistics though there is a lack of dealing with conflicts in management.

Capture Information

Generally, hook and line fisheries are selective and therefore, provide little bycatch. Bycatch can include other cephalopods such as cuttlefish (but this is only at rates of 5% in Sundaram and can occasionally attract marine mammals, sea-birds and sea turtles. One of the larger impacts, which have not been fully studied, is that the lights are commonly used to lure squid at night can be so bright that they can use up as much energy as a trawl. Boat anchors sometimes have impact with the seafloor however, parachute anchors are used, so there is little damage to the seafloor.











http://www.fishsource.com/fishery/summary?fishery=Indian+squid+-+stock+units+undefined+%28Country%3A+IN%3B+Gear%3A+LHP_hdl%3B%29#Environment and Biodiversity



http://www.seafish.org/rass/print.php?id=1249§ion=all&action=print - Seafish jig fishery loligo chinensis

Forsythe JW, Kangas N, Hanlon RT (2004) Does the California market squid, Loligo opalescens, spawn naturally during the day or at night? A note on the successful use of ROVs to obtain basic fisheries biology data. Fish Bull (Wash DC) 102:389-392

Rich, C., Longcore, T., 2013. Ecological Consequences of Artificial Night Lighting. Island Press.