Distribution and abundance of juvenile Loligo gahi in Falkland Island waters
Four research surveys of Falkland Island waters were carried out to determine the distribution and abundance of the early life-history stages of Loligo gahi (d'Orbigny, 1835) in the austral winter of 1988 and the austral springs of 1990, 1991 and 1992. Juveniles were caught during three of the four surveys in both Bongo nets and an RMT8 net. In each case, greatest numbers were consistently caught in waters of ≤100 m to the south and east of East Falkland. The use of an opening/closing net in 1992 showed that most L. gahi juveniles aggregate close to the sea floor and are more available to the sampling gear by night than by day. Limited temperature data for the 1991 and 1992 surveys suggest that distribution on the coastal shelf may be associated with water-column structure. In 1992 when temperature data implied a mixed water column, juveniles were caught in deeper water than in 1991 when the water column was stratified. The results suggest that the spawning grounds of L. gahi are probably situated to the south and east of the Falkland Islands, at least for squid hatched in the austral winter/spring.