The squid sector comprises all squid species (families: Gonatidae, Loliginidae, Ommastrephidae, Onychoteuthidae). Squids are mostly traded fresh/chilled or frozen, although some small volumes are also traded dried, prepared or preserved. Most production comes from industrial fisheries using a wide variety of fishing gears including jigs, hook and line, purse seine, midwater, and bottom trawling operating within exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and in international waters. An important artisanal component operates in a number of EEZs ranging from small vessels with outboard motors carrying two or three fishers to vessels of 15 meters or more carrying five or six fishers.
FAO reports total global production of more than 3.7 million tonnes. Top production regions are South America (Peru, Chile, Argentina) and Asia (China, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia).
Of the 1.26 million tonnes in traded volume in 2014 (International Trade Center, 2014), China imported the most with 31 percent of total imports, followed by the EU at 25 percent, Thailand at 11 percent, and both South Korea and the US, each with 6 percent of total imports.
The T75 sector report for squid details the state of the sector. Based on 2014 production data, 12,040 tonnes, or 0.3 percent of the global production, are considered sustainable or improving, using publicly available information on MSC status and FIP progress ratings reviewed in early October 2017.
It is possible that existing supply chain leverage and interest may be able to influence more than 57 percent of global production.
The Global Squid Supply Chain Roundtable works to catalyze improvements in squid fisheries around the world. Current SR participants have expressed interest in FIPs in China (mitre squid and Japanese flying squid) and Peru (jumbo flying squid). Additional fisheries of interest that may be covered by this SR include Argentine shortfin squid, Patagonian squid, and jumbo flying squid in South America, common squids in India.
The key to reaching T75 is engaging Chinese and South Korean fisheries operating in the international waters off South America. The industry can accomplish this through demand from some markets already engaged in sustainability, engaging the markets where those products end up, as well as creating demand for sustainable products from new markets.