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The market squid, Doryteuthis (Loligo) opalescens, has been the basis of an important commercial fishery in California since the 1850's. The fishery takes place in northern California and southern California at different times of the year. The northern fishery season (mainly in Monterey Bay) traditionally occurs from April through November, while the southern fishery (mostly in the Channel Islands vicinity) begins in October and generally lasts through March. Most squid are caught using lights to attract aggregations to the surface where they are netted with brails, lamparas and purse seines. The method of capture differs significantly from other loliginid fisheries worldwide, since fishing activity occurs directly on spawning sites. Market squid spawn at night and deposit eggs on soft bottom at depths of 10-40 fathoms. For more information please visit the market squid infomation page on the coastal pelagic species section of the Fisheries Resources Division. 

The Humboldt, or jumbo squid, Dosidicus gigas, has in recent years expanded its range to include the entire west coast of the United States. Jumbo squid are carnivorous marine invertebrates and have a lifespan of just 1-2 years. In that time, they can grow to four feet in length. There is currently no commercial fishery for jumbo squid; however they are caught by recreational fishers who fish at night, using lights to attract the squid to the surface, and then catching the squid using a squid jig on a fishing rod.

NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to the stewardship of living marine resources through science-based conservation and management, and the promotion of healthy ecosystems. The abalone component of the California Current ecosystem includes species that share the following characteristics: they are relatively long-lived (at least 20 years), are broadcast spawners, are prey to a variety of species, and are susceptible to disease. Seven species occur on the west coast of North America from Alaska to Baja California, including the endangered white abalone (Haliotis sorenseni), red abalone (H. rubescens), pink abalone (H. corrugata), also known as yellow abalone in Mexico, green abalone (H. fulgens) also known as blue abalone in Mexico, the endangered black abalone (H. cracherodi), pinto or northern (H. kamtschatkana kamtschatkana, northern population) or threaded (H. k. assimilis, southern population) abalone and flat abalone (H. walallensis).Abalone have separate sexes and reproduce by broadcast spawning. Fertilization success decreases as the density of eggs and sperm decreases. Because males and females must be within a few meters of each other for successful reproduction, abalone populations exhibit depensatory growth at low densities. Abalone fishing is done by divers who focus on concentrations of abalone to minimize bottom time. Breeding aggregations of abalone are serially depleted until the fishery collapses. Thus the very nature of the fishery leads to instability. Failure to recognize this fact has lead to recruitment overfishing. Marine protected areas, which maintain high densities of abalone may be an effective management strategy.Saving and recovering endangered species is a critical task of our stewardship. White abalone, Haliotis sorenseni, became listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 2001. Since then, the SWFSC has monitored white abalone populations in both U.S. and Mexican waters. We have also played a key role in formulating the recovery plan for white abalone and the status review team for the endangered black abalone, Haliotis cracherodii. For more information, please visit the Benthic Resources Program page.

CA market squidDoryteuthis (Loligo) opalescensThis adult California market squid was photographed in the canyon offshore of La Jolla Shores beach in La Jolla, California.Key words: market squid, Doryteuthis (Loligo) opalescensContact: SWFSC's Small Pelagics Lab


A field of crinoids on a rock, seen at Kidney Bank in the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California. Crinoids are echinoderms, a group of marine invertebrates that also includes sea stars and sea urchins. 
The Habitat Ecology Team, Fisheries Ecology Division, conducts research on deep benthic communities using a two-person submersible. This picture was taken during a dive to make fish counts for assessment research. 
Date: October 2002 Contact: SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division, Habitat Ecology Team