Watasenia scintillans 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Mollusca Cephalopoda Oegopsida Enoploteuthidae

Scientific Name: Watasenia scintillans (Berry, 1911)
Common Name(s):
English Japanese Firefly Squid

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2010-05-03
Assessor(s): Barratt, I. & Allcock, L.
Reviewer(s): Young, R., Vecchione, M. & Böhm, M.
Contributor(s): Duncan, C. & Carrete-Vega, G.
Watasenia scintillans, the Japanese Firefly Squid, has been assessed as Least Concern, due to its large geographical distribution. Although this species is subject to fishing pressure, catches appear to be consistent and sustainable but can fluctuate greatly in local fishery areas (Tsuchiya 2007). However, further research is recommended in order to determine the population dynamics, life history and ecology, and potential threat processes affecting this species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Japananese Firefly Squid, Watasenia scintillans, occurs only off Japan in the Northwest Pacific (Tsuchiya 2007). It is associated with shelf waters, and its range includes the Sea of Okhotsk, Sea of Japan, the east coast of Japan and the northern part of the East China Sea (Tsuchiya 2007).
Countries occurrence:
China; Japan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – northwest
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no population information available for this species.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This is a mesopelagic-boundary species associated with the shelf waters around Japan occurring from the surface to mid-ocean depths (typically 200 to 600 m in depth) (Young et al. 1998, Norman 2003). Individuals form large near-surface aggregations at night during the spawning season (Roper et al. 1984). Eggs are spawned in shallow water between the surface and 80 m in depth (Tsuchiya 2007). The spawning season extends between February to July (Norman 2003). In Toyama Bay, eggs occur in the plankton between February and July, and November and December (Tsuchiya 2007). In the western Sea of Japan, eggs were present throughout the year except December to January, peaking April to late May (Tsuchiya 2007). Mature females have between a few hundred and 20,000 mature eggs (1.5 mm in length) in their oviducts (Tsuchiya 2007). The eggs are spawned into a narrow gelatinous string of more than 1 m in length (Tsuchiya 2007). Eggs hatch in 14 days at 10 ºC, and in 6 days at 16 ºC (Tsuchiya 2007). Post spawning mortality is high (Roper et al. 1984). They are preyed upon by marine mammals (e.g. Northern Pacific Fur Seals, Callorhinus ursinus) and are an important food for a variety of finfishes including salmonids (Tsuchiya 2007).

Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species forms large aggregations during the spawning season (Feb-July) which are targeted by Japanese fisheries (e.g. Toyama Bay, in the Sea of Japan) (Norman 2003). Total commercial catches in Japan were estimated to fluctuate between 800 and 3,700 tonnes per year a few years previous to 1984 (Roper et al. 1984; Roper and Jereb 2010), and between 4,804 and 6,822 tonnes per year during 1990-1999 (Tsuchiya 2007).

In Toyama Bay, the catch fluctuates annually between 500 and 4,000 tonnes per year, and averages 2,000 tonnes per year (i.e. 250 million individuals per year). Further south off the southwest coast Japan, in the Sea of Japan, the annual catch ranged between 1,873 to 3,638 tonnes per year from 1990-1999 (Tsuchiya 2007).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is a target of Japanese commercial fisheries (Norman 2003), though catches appear to be consistent and sustainable.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species, nor are they necessary. Further research is recommended in order to determine the population dynamics, life history and ecology, and potential threat processes affecting this species.

Citation: Barratt, I. & Allcock, L. 2014. Watasenia scintillans. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T163146A977074. . Downloaded on 20 July 2018.
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