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Adv Mar Biol. 2014;67:99-233. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-800287-2.00002-0.

Environmental effects on cephalopod population dynamics: implications for management of fisheries.

Author information

British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, United Kingdom. Electronic address:
Oceanlab, University of Aberdeen, Newburgh, Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom; CESAM & Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal.
School for Marine Science and Technology, University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Massachusetts, USA; Center for Coastal Studies, Provincetown, Massachusetts, USA.
Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.
Falkland Islands Fisheries Department, Stanley, Falkland Islands.
CEFAS, Lowestoft, Suffolk, United Kingdom.
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Marine Research Laboratories Taroona, Nubeena Crescent, Taroona, Tasmania, Australia.
Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, Institut de Biologie Fondamentale et Appliquée Department, UMR BOREA: Biologie des ORganismes et des Ecosystèmes Aquatiques, Esplanade de la paix, CS 14032, Caen, France; BOREA, UMR CNRS7208, IRD207, UPMC, MNHN, UCBN, Caen, France.
Japan Sea National Fisheries Research, Institute, Fisheries Research Agency, Suido-cho, Niigata, Japan.
Marine Fisheries Research and Development Center, Fisheries Research Agency, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.
Instituto de Investigação das Pescas e do Mar (IPIMAR), Lisboa, Portugal.
Helenic Centre for Marine Research, Aghios Kosmas, Hellinikon, Athens, Greece.
Fisheries Ecosystems Laboratory, Oceanographic Institute, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
Institute of Oceanography, Federal University of Rio Grande, CEP, Rio Grande, Brazil.
National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries, Shizuoka, Japan.


Cephalopods are a relatively small class of molluscs (~800 species), but they support some large industrial scale fisheries and numerous small-scale, local, artisanal fisheries. For several decades, landings of cephalopods globally have grown against a background of total finfish landings levelling off and then declining. There is now evidence that in recent years, growth in cephalopod landings has declined. The commercially exploited cephalopod species are fast-growing, short-lived ecological opportunists. Annual variability in abundance is strongly influenced by environmental variability, but the underlying causes of the links between environment and population dynamics are poorly understood. Stock assessment models have recently been developed that incorporate environmental processes that drive variability in recruitment, distribution and migration patterns. These models can be expected to improve as more, and better, data are obtained on environmental effects and as techniques for stock identification improve. A key element of future progress will be improved understanding of trophic dynamics at all phases in the cephalopod life cycle. In the meantime, there is no routine stock assessment in many targeted fisheries or in the numerous by-catch fisheries for cephalopods. There is a particular need for a precautionary approach in these cases. Assessment in many fisheries is complicated because cephalopods are ecological opportunists and stocks appear to have benefited from the reduction of key predator by overexploitation. Because of the complexities involved, ecosystem-based fisheries management integrating social, economic and ecological considerations is desirable for cephalopod fisheries. An ecological approach to management is routine in many fisheries, but to be effective, good scientific understanding of the relationships between the environment, trophic dynamics and population dynamics is essential. Fisheries and the ecosystems they depend on can only be managed by regulating the activities of the fishing industry, and this requires understanding the dynamics of the stocks they exploit.


Cephalopods; Environment; Fluctuations; Forecasting; Governance; Management; Population dynamics; Stock assessment

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