Cephalopod biology and fisheries in Europe

Graham J Pierce, Louise Allcock, Isabel Bruno, Patrizia Jereb, Eugenia Lefkaditou, Shelagh Malham, Ana Moreno, João Pereira, Uwe Piatkowski, Mario Rasero, Pilar Sánchez, M Begoña Santos, Marina Santurtún, Sonia Seixas, Ignacio Sobrino, Roger Villanueva

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned Report


Over the past two decades, cephalopod molluscs have attracted increased attention from marine biologists and fishery scientists. Several species are important for European fisheries, as targets of small‐scale coastal fisheries and/or as bycatch in multispecies fisheries for demersal fish. The present report draws on a series of reviews prepared in 2005 for the CEPHSTOCK project (see Section 1). The taxonomy of the main resource species is reviewed (Section 2), and brief descriptions of each species are provided, along with information from studies of population genetics, habitat requirements of paralarvae and adults, and health and ecotoxicology (Section 3). The main fisheries are described, including illustration of gears used in specialized small‐scale fisheries and a discussion of the socio‐economic importance of the fisheries. The current status of cephalopod aquaculture is reviewed, highlighting notable advances in commercial culture of octopus and cuttlefish (Section 4). Current fishery data collection and fishery management are described, noting that there is no setting of landings quotas and no routine assessment of stock status. Options for stock assessment are discussed, drawing on one‐off assessments made during specific projects and current practice elsewhere in the world. The “live fast, die young” life‐ history strategies of cephalopods present particular challenges, but parallels can be drawn with short‐lived fish (Section 5). Finally, the report looks to the future, reviewing possible effects of climate change on cephalopods. It discusses the future development of aquaculture and fisheries for cephalopods, including prospects for fishery forecasting and fishery management – especially in relation to the small‐scale directed fisheries. Various knowledge gaps are identified, and ideas for research to fill these gaps are presented.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherInternational Council for the Exploration of the Sea
Number of pages175
ISBN (Print)978‐87‐7482‐078‐9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


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