Formal Fisheries Improvement Plans have been developed for SQU1T  and SQU6T which path out the steps towards achieving MSC certification for these fisheries. To view these, click here.

Squid are unusual because they grow to adulthood and die within the space of a year, so every year sees a completely new population. Currently, over 95% of New Zealand’s arrow squid catch is taken by deepwater trawlers from southern and sub-Antarctic fishing grounds. Squid jigging coastal vessels in calmer, more northern, waters catch the rest.

The squid fisheries are preparing to enter into Marine Stewardship Council assessment; Fisheries Improvement Projects are being prepared to work towards this.

Common Name


Scientific Name

Nototodarus gouldi (arrow squid); Nototodarus sloanii (arrow squid)

Ministry Code


Quick Facts

  • Trawl fishery (found >300-500m)
  • Managed as three fish stocks: New Zealand’s Southern Islands (SQU6T), the rest of New Zealand’s EEZ (SQU1T and SQU1J), and Kermadec (SQU10T) which is not harvested
  • DWG represents all stocks except SQU10T and 90% of their total quota
  • Live near the seabed moving up the water column at night to feed on planktonic crustaceans, small fish and other squid
  • Grow to adulthood and die within the space of a year
  • Internationally-recognised Marine Stewardship Council certification assessment in progress
  • Firm shiny tender white flesh, ideal for light summery meals