A preliminary assessment of the stock of the ommastrephid squid Martialia hyadesi in the Scotia Sea based on data from predators
Cephalopod fisheries world-wide mainly target species from two families, Loliginidae and Ommastrephidae. Fisheries for the latter have been characterized by dramatically fluctuating annual catches and frequent switches to exploit new target species. It is likely, therefore, that exploitation of the sub-Antarctic ommastrephid species Martialia hyadesi; will be attempted in the future. This squid is an important component of the diet of several species of albatross and the southern elephant seal and is probably taken in significant quantities by several other Southern Ocean vertebrate predators. Estimated annual consumption by known predators in the Scotia Sea is 326 098 to 330 642 tonnes, 94% of which is taken by southern elephant seals, and the other species may take at least a further 51 400 tonnes. M. hyadesi probably has a life span of two years and a circumpolar distribution, but its biology and ecology are still virtually unknown. Given the commercial potential of the Southern Ocean stock of M. hyadesi and its significant role in the diet of some vertebrate predators, the species is clearly important within the context of the aims of CCAMLR and should attract greater research effort in the future.