Cephalopod molluscs are attracting more attention these days. The depletion of traditional fishery resources has led to an increasing interest in cephalopods from fishermen, stakeholders, and scientists. Cephalopods – squid, octopuses, cuttlefish – represent an essential component of marine ecosystems and a valuable resource for human exploitation. However, cephalopod stocks are not routinely assessed in European waters meaning that their exploitation remains mostly unregulated. Data collection, scientifically-supported management strategies, and adequate assessment represent a vital basis if exploitation is to be sustainable.
ICES Working Group on Cephalopod Fisheries and Life History (WGCEPH) aim to fill these knowledge gaps. One focus point for the group is the collection of recent data on cephalopod life history, ecology, and fisheries as well as the identification of priorities for future research.
Over the past 3 years, WGCEPH has reviewed more than 200 articles on the distribution, abundance, life history, ecology, aquaculture, and fisheries of the most abundant and the most important European cephalopods for fisheries and aquaculture, including Octopus vulgaris, Eledone cirrhosa, E. moschata, Sepia officinalis, S. elegans, S. orbignyana, Sepietta oweniana, Loligo vulgaris, Loligo forbesii, Alloteuthis subulata, A. media, Illex coindetii, Todarodes sagittatus, Todaropsis eblanae, Ommastrephes caroli and Gonatus fabricii.
Results of this review were published as, A review of recent studies on the life history and ecology of European cephalopods with emphasis on species with the greatest commercial fishery and culture potential, where the authors analyzed the development of previously identified priority research fields and suggest promising fields for future studies.
A second paper from members of WGCEPH focuses on the importance of octopus fisheries in Europe, specifically addressing its socioeconomic importance and management and increasing the knowledge about the human dimensions of octopus fisheries in Europe. More information is needed on the social and economic sustainability of cephalopod fishing and the group's work involves describing the value chain and evaluating the market drivers of cephalopod fisheries.
The European market is one of the most important markets in the world for cephalopods and the fisheries currently targeting octopus in Europe are of substantial importance, especially in southern European waters. As octopus in Europe are excluded from quota regulations under the Common Fisheries Policy, European Union (EU) member states manage their fisheries employing different input and output control measures. Fisheries for common octopus in Europe: socioeconomic importance and management describes and compares the current status of small-scale octopus fisheries in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece, its socioeconomic importance, the management arrangements in place, and the opportunities and challenges for the future of the octopus fisheries in the four countries.
A review of recent studies on the life history and ecology of European cephalopods with emphasis on species with the greatest commercial fishery and culture potential and Fisheries for common octopus in Europe: socioeconomic importance and managementare both available in Fisheries Research.
ICES Working Group on Cephalopod Fisheries and Life History (WGCEPH) improves knowledge about and the assessment of cephalopods as an exploited resource. Their work addresses Seafood production, Impacts of human activities and Conservation and management science, three of ICES scientific priorities. Discover our seven interrelated scientific priorities and how our network will address them in our Science Plan: “Marine ecosystem and sustainability science for the 2020s and beyond”.
Cuttlefish. Photo: Viora Alessio, Marine Photo Bank.
A review of recent studies on the life history and ecology of European cephalopods with emphasis on species with the greatest commercial fishery and culture potential
F. Lishchenko, C. Perales-Raya, C. Barrett, D. Oesterwind, A.M. Power, A. Larivain, V. Laptikhovsky, A. Karatza, N. Badouvas, A. Lishchenko, Graham J. Pierce
Fisheries for common octopus in Europe: socioeconomic importance and management
Cristina Pita, Katina Roumbedakis, Teresa Fonseca, Fábio L. Matos, João Pereira, Sebastián Villasante, Pablo Pita, José Maria Bellido, Angel F. Gonzalez, Manuel García-Tasende, Evgenia Lefkaditou, Aggeliki Adamidou, Danila Cuccu, Paola Belcari, Ana Moreno, Graham J. Pierce