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Cephalopod Fishery Management

DWhatley

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'That's not Octopus,' Class Claims via Courthouse News Service By ELIZABETH WARMERDAM 4/2016

SAN JOSE (CN) — As octopus prices spiral due to worldwide overfishing, an importer is mislabeling its jumbo squid as octopus to trick consumers, a diner claims in a federal class action.
Luis Diego Zapata Fonseca sued Vigo Importing Co. on Tuesday, "on behalf of purchasers of Vigo octopus products that Vigo had labeled and sold as octopus when in reality the products contained jumbo squid, which is significantly cheaper and of a lower quality than octopus."
The nine-count lawsuit, alleging fraud, false advertising, unfair competition and other charges, contains a wealth of information about the octopus, which, like the squid, is a cephalopod.
The European Union restricted octopus fishing in 2005, declaring that "the octopus might be at risk of 'dying out ... if controls are not enforced to stop overfishing.'"
The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization repeated the warning in 2010, and in 2014 Monterey Bay Aquarium reported that "octopus stocks are in poor shape" worldwide. Also in 2014, SeafoodSource.com reported that "octopus supplies had fallen by 45 percent in approximately one year, causing a dramatic increase in the price of octopus," according to the complaint.
The octopus does extremely well on intelligence tests such as mazes, it can open jars and build shelters for itself, and is said to be able to recognize its handlers. A captive octopus named Inky made worldwide news this month when he escaped from his aquarium at the National Aquarium in New Zealand, slithered across the floor and into a drainpipe and escaped into Hawke's Bay. A marine biologist told The New York Times that octopuses are "fantastic escape artists."
As food, they are chewy and increasingly expensive. Their taste is similar to the cheaper jumbo squid, which is thriving.
Stanford biologist William Gilly said in a 2013 TED talk that the jumbo squid's success is due to its ability to adapt to changing ocean conditions caused by global warming.
"As a result of these developments, the cost of octopus has risen dramatically compared to the cost of squid," according to Zapata's lawsuit. "In addition, due to similarities in texture, squid can easily be substituted for octopus without the consumer being able to tell the difference, particularly when sold in a sauce like garlic sauce or marinara sauce."
Vigo sells "Octopus in Marinade Sauce" and "Octopus in Soy and Olive Oil," with the word "Octopus" prominently displayed on the labels in a large font. Nowhere on the boxes does it say that the products contain squid instead of octopus, Zapata says. And he says he has DNA tests to prove it.
"Independent DNA testing determined that Vigo's octopus products are actually jumbo squid and not octopus. Octopus and jumbo squid are both cephalopods, but are otherwise completely different species," according to the complaint.
"Vigo has intentionally replaced the octopus in its octopus products with squid as a cheap substitute to save money because it knew an ordinary consumer would have trouble distinguishing the difference," Fonseca says.
He seeks class certification, restitution, compensatory and punitive damages and an injunction. He is represented by L. Timothy Fisher with Bursor & Fisher of Walnut Creek, and by James Gitkin with Salpeter & Gitkin in Fort Lauderdale.
Vigo, which is based in Tampa, Fla., did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
 

DWhatley

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Seasonal variability of cephalopod populations: a spatio-temporal approach in the Western Mediterranean Sea
Patricia Puerta, Antoni Quetglas, Manuel Hidalgo 2016 (Wiley Subscription)

Abstract
Cephalopod populations show wide temporal fluctuations in abundance, which have usually been investigated at inter-annual scales related to environmental variability. However, cephalopods are also strongly linked to seasonal environmental fluctuations owing to their short life cycles and single seasonal breeding. Therefore, population abundance critically depends on the success of breeding and recruitment from the previous year and the optimization of resources in a narrow period of favorable conditions. This adaptation of population dynamics is paramount in marked oligotrophic systems, such as the western Mediterranean Sea. We used monthly landings per unit effort (LPUE) to explore the spatio-temporal variability in seasonal patterns of three cephalopod species (Illex coindetii, Eledone cirrhosa and Octopus vulgaris). Common trends across the study area were characterized for each species. In all cases, seasonal patterns were geographically aggregated in relation to differences in local environment (i.e., primary production and surface hydro-climatology). Variability in the mean seasonal pattern over time was also investigated under contrasting environmental or population regimes. The mean seasonal trend was more pronounced in regimes of high-population densities, suggesting a density-dependent control that can modify the strength of the environmental forcing in the seasonal patterns. Our study also evidences a spatial synchrony in the seasonal fluctuations of LPUEs. Scales of synchrony ranged from 70 to 200 km, indicating a patchy-aggregated spatial pattern as a part of complex population structures in the western Mediterranean. Improving our understanding of seasonal dynamics of cephalopods across temporal and spatial scales may lead to improved forecasts and management strategies.
 

DWhatley

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Using seabirds to map the distribution of elusive pelagic cephalopod species
Jorge M. Pereira, Vítor H. Paiva, José C. Xavier 2017 (subscription Marine Ecology)

ABSTRACT: The distribution of oceanic cephalopod species is not fully understood but seabirds, which feed on cephalopods and cover vast oceanic areas, might work as samplers and mappers of the occurrence of this elusive group. We tracked 17 wandering albatrosses Diomedea exulans at Bird Island, South Georgia (54° S, 38° W) over the austral winter (breeding period) with GPS-loggers, activity recorders and stomach temperature probes. At logger retrieval, diet composition was accessed via stomach flushings of the tagged individuals. Wandering albatrosses captured circumpolar and rarer oceanic squid in all water masses of the Southern Ocean (i.e. Antarctic, sub-Antarctic and subtropical waters), complementing much of the knowledge about the cephalopod distribution in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. Some cephalopod species showed a distribution range wider than expected, with oceanic fronts not functioning as ecological barriers as previously thought. This suggests they might be capable of overcoming these frontal regimes and even take advantage of their dynamics as migration pathways.
 

DWhatley

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Reproduction and population structure of Octopus mimus fished in a Marine Protected Area of Ecuador
Unai Markaida, Luis Flores , Evelyn Arias, Elba Mora 2017 (subscription Cambridge Core)
Octopus mimus is the main octopus targeted by the small-scale fishery in the Eastern Pacific. Commercial catches of octopus from the Reserva de Producción Faunística Marino-Costera Puntilla de Santa Elena (REMACOPSE) Marine Protected Area in Ecuador were sampled from July to December 2013 in order to describe the reproduction and population structure of this octopus. The 4171 sampled octopuses ranged from 56 to 250 mm in mantle length (ML) and 45 to 3178 g in body weight (BW). Mean octopus weight did not change monthly. Males were mostly mature while the majority of females were immature. Presence of some mature and a few spent females in all months sampled suggests that the population shows an extended spawning period. No spawning peak could be properly defined. Sex ratios did not significantly shift from the expected 1:1 in most samples. Females mature at a larger size (1234 g, BW; 165 mm, ML) than males (487 g BW; 114 mm ML). We recommend considering a minimum legal size of 1200 g BW. A year-long sampling programme for O. mimus should also be completed in order to detect any spawning peak.
 

DWhatley

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Global diversity of coastal cephalopods: hotspots and latitudinal gradients
Vasco Miguel de Castro, Vasconcelos Pissarra 2018 (pdf Spanish and English)

ABSTRACT The present dissertation aimed to identify, for the first time, the global hotspots of coastal cephalopod diversity, namely cuttlefishes (families Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae and Idiosepiidae), squids (family Loliginidae) and octopuses (family Octopodidae), and assess their latitudinal gradient of species richness (LGRS). I created a presence/absence database, according to Marine Ecoregions of the World, which revealed that the most diverse ocean was the Pacific (with 212 species), followed by the Indian (151 species) and Atlantic (103 species) Oceans. The least diverse were the Artic (13 species) and Southern (7 species) Oceans. Within the 232 ecoregions considered, the highest diversity value was reached in the Central Kuroshio Current (CKC) ecoregion, with 64 species, followed by the East China Sea (ECS, 59 species) and the Eastern Philippines (EP, 48 species). I advocate that these hotspots are linked to the “centre of origin”, “centre of overlap” or “centre of accumulation” hypotheses postulated for the Indo-Australian Archipelago region, together with the particular productivity-rich conditions associated with upwelling system dynamics near CKC and ECS. Regarding the association between latitude and diversity, cephalopod peak of diversity varied among oceans, and only the squids showed a unimodal distribution with latitude. In opposition, cuttlefish, octopods and Cephalopoda revealed bimodal distributions, always with the major peak of diversity in the north hemisphere. I argue that the squid unimodal pattern may be a result of the effect of energy availability (sea surface temperature) in the organism’s physiology, as proposed by the “ambient energy hypothesis”. On the other hand, the widespread bimodal distributions may be linked to ocean productivity (i.e. the “species-productivity hypothesis”) given that highly productive areas tend to be associated with temperate latitudes. Summing up, these findings highlight the notion that the shape and symmetry of LGRS are not universal and there are no single causal predictors to explain hotspot and latitudinal zenith locations within the same taxa
 

DWhatley

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Ready for co-management? Portuguese artisanal octopus fishers’ preferences for management and knowledge about the resource
PriscilaSilva, HenriqueCabral, MafaldaRangel, JoãoPereira, CristinaPita 2018 (Science Direct subscription)

Abstract
In Portugal, the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) dominates the total catches and landings from small scale fisheries. The small-scale fisheries have been targeting the common octopus for a long time and it is consistently one of the most important commercial fishing resources in the country. Questionnaires were conducted in 13 fishing ports in the south and southwest coasts of Portugal, from November 2014 to December 2016, to explore octopus artisanal fishers’ preferences for management and their knowledge about the biology and ecology of octopus. The survey revealed that fishers are generally not satisfied with the current management of the octopus fisheries. Some differences in preferences for management were found between regions, but in general, fishers strongly supported biological closures and local management plans developed by themselves. Fishers seemed to be interest in being more involved in the decision-making process, but only seem to have a moderate knowledge about the biology and ecology of the resource they exploit. A greater involvement of fishers in decision-making process will contribute to increase their awareness and knowledge about the resource, their receptivity to and acceptance of management measures, as well as increase their feeling of responsibility towards, and ownership of the resource.
 

DWhatley

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Variability of coastal cephalopods in overexploited China Seas under climate change with implications on fisheries management
Yumeng Pang, Yongjun Tiana, CaihongFu, Bin Wang. Jianchao Li, Yiping Ren, Rong Wan 2018 (Science Direct Subscription)

Abstract
Cephalopods (squids, cuttlefish and octopus) have increased globally over the past decades, which may be attributed to their strong phenotypic plasticity, allowing them to adapt quickly to a changing ocean environment. The global proliferation of cephalopods may yield important ecosystem effects worldwide. However, information on cephalopods variability in Chinese waters is still scant. Coastal cephalopods, in spite of chronic overexploitation, form a vital component of the catch composition in China Seas. In this paper, we review the status and trends of coastal cephalopods in China Seas and explore their responses to environmental variability. We focus on four commercially-important coastal cephalopod species, including golden cuttlefish (Sepia esculenta Hoyle), Japanese loligo squid (Loligo japonica Steenstrup), common Chinese cuttlefish (Sepiella maindroni de Rochebrune) and swordtip squid (Uroteuthis edulis Hoyle). Even though spatial distributions of these four species partially overlap, their differing life history strategies with respect to factors such as growth, distribution, migration, and spawning patterns, have led to differing population responses to environmental variability. As a result, an overall increasing trend in cephalopod production has been apparent since the 1990s, accompanied by major changes in species composition. Catch trends of the four species show either decadal patterns of significant decline or increase in the late 1980s to mid-1990s. Statistical analysis indicates different responses to environmental warming, with Japanese loligo squid and swordtip squid seeming to benefit from warmer environment while golden cuttlefish and common Chinese cuttlefish seeming to respond negatively. Our study has allowed us to explore the impacts of environmental changes on Chinese coastal cephalopods in the overexploited ecosystems of the China Seas and to conclude that fluctuations of coastal cephalopods are mainly driven by large scale environmental variations associated with climate change and/or marine ecosystem regime shifts.
 

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