A group of scientists of the Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Studies (IMEDEA) initiated a pioneer tagging project for European squid, in a bid to learn its habits and enrich the management of the fishery.

The initiative began in February 2010 in Majorcan waters and seeks to identify 1'000 units up to 2012. According to the head of the project, Miguel Cabanellas-Reboredo, grantholder of the Council of Innovation, Justice and the Interior; “There are some studies in the world of this squid, but in the Mediterranean Sea it is not known what it does, whether there are migrations at night, or where it moves. We know that it moves a lot, but not to what extent.” With this study, it is hoped to furnish knowledge on the population structure and the biology of the squid, to prevent over-exploitation and secure existing stocks in these waters.

The units are tagged at dusk or at dawn in Bay of Palma and are of the species Loligo vulgaris, highly valued by artisanal and recreational fishing.
For now 50 squids have been tagged, by which a yellow label was placed on them with the telephone number of IMEDEA.
Fishers who capture the tagged units should return them to IMEDEA so that their weight and measurements can be studied, and to report on where they were found.

Within the framework of the project, scientists will also launch audible tagging, a pioneer initiative for this resource. This consists of attaching an acoustic transmitter onto the body of the cephalopod, which emits a sound at a certain frequency. These sound waves are caught by apparatuses placed in the sea, to determine the movement of squids in the water.

When all the necessary data is obtained and cross-referenced with the results of other studies on the species, IMEDEA will be able to confirm the size of the population and its migrations, Cabanellas-Reboredo explained.