Ommastrephid squid spawning in the North Sea: oceanography, climate change and species range expansion




squids, North Sea, oceanography, spawning, Illex coindetii, Todaropsis eblanae


The lesser flying squid (Todaropsis eblanae) and the shortfin squid (Illex coindetii) are two abundant ommastrephids of the northeast Atlantic. Spawning ground existence was inferred from the captures of mature, mated females in summer 2016–2019 and their occurrences were compared with respective oceanographic data from international surveys to gain insight into environmental predictors of their presence throughout the North Sea. Spawning T. eblanae were found in relatively cooler and more saline waters (6–8°C, 34.2–35.1 psu) in the northern North Sea linked to the Fair Isle Current and East Shetland Atlantic Inflow, whilst spawning I. coindetii occurred across the entire North Sea (mostly at 9–10.5°C, 34.1–34.8 psu). We hypothesize that a combination of water salinity and water temperature are key factors in the spatiotemporal distribution of spawning ommastrephid squids as they define water density that is crucial for pelagic egg mass to attain neutral buoyancy.


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How to Cite

Barrett CJ, MacLeod E, Oesterwind D, Laptikhovsky V. Ommastrephid squid spawning in the North Sea: oceanography, climate change and species range expansion. scimar [Internet]. 2021Apr.20 [cited 2021Oct.21];85(1):49-56. Available from: