Doryteuthis (Amerigo) pealeii
Longfin squid, as their name suggests, are characterised by a long fin, at least half the length of the mantle. They can reach up to 1.6 feet in mantle length, but are usually less than one foot. They range from Newfoundland to the Gulf of Venezuela in South America.
Longfin squid are pink or orange and mottled with brown or purple. Besides their long fin, they feature large eyes covered by a cornea. Although considered a mollusk, squid don’t have an outer shell but rather have an internal shell called a “pen.” A favourite for calamari, edible parts include the tentacles, the mantle (tube) and the fins (wings).
Longfin squid have a short life span: they reproduce right before they die, at around just six to eight months old. Spawning occurs year-round, with peak production in winter and summer, with females typically spawning an estimated 3 000 to 6 000 eggs. Eggs hatch between 11 and 26 days later, depending on water temperature. Longfin squid also grow fast; given this and their short life span, even without fishing the entire population replaces itself every six months or so. Squid are aggressive hunters, feeding on fish even larger than they are. A school of squid can decimate an entire school of herring, leaving only heads and tails in their wake.
This fishery uses a large cone-shaped net that is dragged along the seafloor to catch fish. As the net is towed at low speed, hydrodynamic forces push two "otter boards" outwards opening the mouth of the net and capturing fish in its path.