Approaches to resolving cephalopod movement and migration patterns
Cephalopod movement occurs during all phases of the life history, with the abundance and location of cephalopod populations strongly influenced by the prevalence and scale of their movements. Environmental parameters, such as sea temperature and oceanographic processes, have a large influence on movement at the various life cycle stages, particularly those of oceanic squid. Tag recapture studies are the most common way of directly examining cephalopod movement, particularly in species which are heavily fished. Electronic tags, however, are being more commonly used to track cephalopods, providing detailed small- and large-scale movement information. Chemical tagging of paralarvae through maternal transfer may prove to be a viable technique for tracking this little understood cephalopod life stage, as large numbers of individuals could be tagged at once. Numerous indirect methods can also be used to examine cephalopod movement, such as chemical analyses of the elemental and/or isotopic signatures of cephalopod hard parts, with growing interest in utilising these techniques for elucidating migration pathways, as is commonly done for fish. Geographic differences in parasite fauna have also been used to indirectly provide movement information, however, explicit movement studies require detailed information on parasite-host specificity and parasite geographic distribution, which is yet to be determined for cephalopods. Molecular genetics offers a powerful approach to estimating realised effective migration rates among populations, and continuing developments in markers and analytical techniques hold the promise of more detailed identification of migrants. To date genetic studies indicate that migration in squids is extensive but can be blocked by major oceanographic features, and in cuttlefish and octopus migration is more locally restricted than predictions from life history parameters would suggest. Satellite data showing the location of fishing lights have been increasingly used to examine the movement of squid fishing vessels, as a proxy for monitoring the movement of the squid populations themselves, allowing for the remote monitoring of oceanic species.
Authors: Semmens, J M, Pecl, G T, Gillanders, B M, Waluda, C M, Shea, E K, Jouffre, D, Ichii, T, Zumholz, K, Katugin, O N, Leporati, S C, Shaw, P W