Geographic and temporal patterns in size and maturity of the longfin inshore squid (Loligo pealeii) off the northeastern United States


Hatfield, Emma M.C., and Steven X. Cadrin
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Analysis of 32 years of standardized survey catches (1967–98) indicated differential distribution patterns for the longfin inshore squid (Loligo pealeii) over the northwest Atlantic U.S. continental shelf, by geographic region, depth, season, and time of day. Catches were greatest in the Mid-Atlantic Bight, where there were significantly greater catches in deep water during winter and spring, and in shallow water during autumn. Body size generally increased with depth in all seasons. Large catches of juveniles in shallow waters off southern New England during autumn resulted from inshore spawning observed during late spring and summer; large proportions of juveniles in the Mid-Atlantic Bight during spring suggest that substantial winter spawning also occurs. Few mature squid were caught in survey samples in any season; the majority of these mature squid were captured south of Cape Hatteras during spring. Spawning occurs inshore from late spring to summer and the data suggest that winter spawning occurs primarily south of Cape Hatteras.