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Great sign of squid

These tiny squid were taken from the stomachs of turr (sea birds) taken off the northeast coast last week, showing great promise for the squid stock, at least in the short-term. Fishermen see and experience what's happening on the water in real time, which isn't possible with computers, or scientific modelling.

It's fair to say from this picture that squid are spawning in Newfoundland and Labrador waters, and a fishermen could probably jig them all winter if they knew what depth of water to find them.

Too bad you can't follow turrs — the deepest-diving flying birds in the world, capable of plummeting as deep as 600 feet in little more than a minute.

They could show you where to find squid.

Even now, in late November, squid are still being jigged in waters off the island's northeast coast, and washing up on shore.

These huge squids washed ashore Monday night in Squid Cove near Lewisporte.

Squids jigged this week on the wharf in Dildo. An estimated 1,200 tonnes of squid were landed in 2018, up from 300 tonnes in 2017. Most went to the local bait market, primarily for snow crab.

The 2021 price paid to inshore harvesters for squid was negotiated at 66¢/lb — a 14% drop from last year’s 77¢/lb, and well down from the $1/lb offered in 2019 before the worldwide pandemic.

Squid in Canadian waters is not managed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, but by the Northwest Atlantic Organization, which (mis)manages waters outside the 200-mile limit.

Read SEA-NL's low down on squid.

The total allowable catch for squid has been set at 34,000 tonnes for 2020, 2021, and 2022. Only about 4,000 tonnes of squid was taken last year, with about 77% harvested by Canada.

Ryan Cleary,


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