A Murdoch University-led study funded through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund and supported by Recfishwest and the WA Department of Fisheries is looking to shed light on the biology and population structure of the Southern Calamari (Sepioteuthis australis).
The squid species has become a popular catch for recreational anglers in Western Australia’s South West, though very little research has been done on local stocks.
Dr Peter Coulson of Murdoch’s Centre for Fish, Fisheries and Aquatic Ecosystems Research said local knowledge was needed for accurate assessment and successful future management.
“Research undertaken in other states have shown Southern Calamari to be fast-growing and highly reproductive with life spans of a year or less,” Dr Coulson said.
“But we know that their biology varies between regions and populations, so we really can’t apply findings done on populations thousands of miles away on our local stocks.
“This is why we’re asking recreational fishers in south-western and southern WA to help collect information. The project is funded with recreational fishing licence money, so we’d encourage everyone to get involved.”
Researchers are particularly interested in stocks in Cockburn Sound, Geographe Bay, Albany (King George Sound) and Esperance Bay.
The best way to help is to measure the hoods of each squid caught and send the information along with date, location and depth of capture to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Coulson said WA was gaining an international reputation for squid fishing, with events such as the Calamari Classic in Cockburn Sound attracting professional fishing teams from as far away as Japan.
The study is a collaborative project between researchers at Centre for Fish, Fisheries and Aquatic Ecosystems Research, Murdoch University, the Western Australian Department of Fisheries and researchers at the Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University.
For more information contact Dr Coulson by email or on 9360 2695/0407 730 652.