Fishery biology of the jumbo flying squid Dosidicus gigas off the Exclusive Economic Zone of Chilean waters
Keywords:Dosidicus gigas, fishery biology, Chile
The jumbo flying squid Dosidicus gigas is widely distributed in the eastern Pacific Ocean and supports an important fishery. Although many studies have been carried out on the biology of this species, limited biological information is available in the waters outside the Exclusive Economic Zone of Chile (EEZ) (20°S-41°S and 74°30’W-84°W). Three surveys were conducted in this area by the Chinese squid jigging vessels during the period from April 2006 to May 2008. The majority of the catch in the survey was from the two areas defined by 37°30’-41°S and 78°30’-80°W and by 25°-30°S and 76°-77°30’W. The sex ratio (M: F) of the catch was 1: 2.48. The mean mantle length (ML) was 376 mm for males with a range of 257-721 mm and 388.7 mm for females with a range of 236-837 mm. Two distinguished size classes, medium- and large-sized groups, were identified in this study with the medium-sized group (350-450 mm ML) consisting of 89% of the total catch. The sizes at first sexual maturity were 638 mm ML for females and 565 mm ML for males. This study suggests that all the individuals examined were hatched from March 2007 to February 2008, indicating that D. gigas might spawn all year around with a peak spawning time from November 2007 to January 2008. Most of the stomachs analyzed had food remains. The preys included three major groups: fish (mainly lanternfish), cephalopods and crustaceans, but D. gigas was the dominant species in the stomach contents, showing strong evidence of cannibalism. The information obtained from this study improves our understanding of the fishery biology of D. gigas off Chile.
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