Identifying Climate-Driven Shifts in Jumbo Flying Squid Fishing Grounds

Content Type
User Story
Underwater photo of a Humbolt squid
Data Applications
Fisheries & Aquaculture

The jumbo flying squid (Dosidicus gigas), also known as the Humbolt squid, is an economically important fisheries species in the Eastern Pacific, currently accounting for approximately one third of the world's squid landings.

Underwater photo of a humbolt squid
A jumbo flying squid. Image courtesy of NOAA/MBARI.


Understanding the impacts of climate and environmental variability on this commercial marine species is important for fisheries operations and fisheries management efforts. In order to determine the impact of climatic and oceanographic conditions on the spatial distribution of the jumbo flying squid fishery in the Southeast Pacific Ocean, Yu et al., (2017) mapped sea surface temperature and sea surface height data from NOAA OceanWatch Central Pacific node and chlorophyll-a data from the Asia-Pacific Data Research Center at the University of Hawaii with commercial fisheries data.

Multipanel plot displaying concentrations of humbolt squid over the Eastern Pacific ocean along with sea surface height anaomlies
Spatial Distribution of catch per unit effort of jumbo flying squid superimposed on contour maps of sea surface temperature (SST top) and sea surface height (SSH bottom) from October to December in 2007 and 2009 (left two panels) and April to June in 2012 and 2013. Source: Yu et al., (2017).


The researchers analyzed the data to identify the environmental conditions that were most favorable for the squids and use this information to explain observed movements of the fishing ground.

References and Related Reading

  • Alabia, I. D., S. I. Saitoh, T. Hirawake, H. Igarashi, Y. Ishikawa, N. Usui, M. Kamachi, T. Awaji, and M. Seito. 2016. Elucidating the Potential Squid Habitat Responses in the Central North Pacific to the Recent ENSO Flavors. Hydrobiologia 772 (1): 215227.
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  • Yu, W., Q. Yi, X. Chen, Y. Chen. 2017. Climate-driven latitudinal shift in fishing ground of jumbo flying squid (Dosidicus gigas) in the Southeast Pacific Ocean off Peru. International Journal of Remote Sensing 38 (12): 3531-3550.