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Squid, veined

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This is a large species of squid which is occasionally landed in Cornish waters, it can be identified by veined markings on the side of the body and its tentacles are tipped with clubs covered in many suckers all of the same size. This species can grow to a maximum size of 93 cm.

Sustainability Overview

Veined squid are a large species that is relatively far more vulnerable to over fishing than most cephalopods, they are valuable so are targetted by trawlers and landings and stocks are experiencing a boom and bust cycle with signs of overall decline in the Celtic seas. There is no direct managment of squid fisheries and as a result this species is not recommended by Cornwall Good Seafood Guide.

 Squid species are currently not separated and recorded and the Northern veined squid is a less resilient species that is arguably at greater threat, than the more commonly landed Common squid. Landings fluctuate and ICES think that current boom and bust patterns and a current decline may be signs of over fishing. There is no management for squid in the Celtic seas area. 

In 2023 a total of 21 tonnes of squid (both species) were landed to Cornish ports with a value of £129k (MMO data).


Updated July 2023

Sustainability ratings for this species

Hook and line

Cornish waters

Line fishing or jigging for squid is a low impact and selective fishing method and the best option for sustainability

Learn more

Demersal Trawl

Cornish waters

Demersal trawls are large nets that are towed along the seabed and catch species living on and near the seabed.

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How we rate fish

Cornwall Good Seafood Guide rates fish on sustainability using a scale of 1 to 5.

1, 2 and 3 are recommended, Fish to avoid are rated 5.

We use the system devised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) so our scores are comparable with the scores produced by MCS for the UK and fisheries from all around the world. For more information on scoring click here.


Loligo forbesii

Northern or veined squid are highly advanced predatory molluscs related to octopus and cuttlefish. They are short lived fast growing creatures. In UK waters we find two main species of squid the Atlantic or long finned sqid Loligo forbesi and the European or common squid Loligo vulgaris.  Squid have 8 arms and 2 longer tentacles which are used to capture their prey. The Northern or veined squid can be identified by having multiple suckers on the tentacle clubs which are all the same size. Between December and May squid breed and lay large egg masses on the seabed. Squid will only live for 2 or 3  years After laying eggs the females die and males may continue living until the next mating season. Because of this fast turnover squid are less vulnerable to fishing than many species however the northern veined squid has a much higher vulnerability to fishing than the common squid (56% vulnerability score source sealife base).

Stock Info

Route 2 scoring has been applied to this rating owing to the lack of reference points for fishing pressure and biomass. Veined squid has high vulnerability (56 out of 100). (Sealifebase)
There are no stock assessments for squid species in UK seas. Two species of long-finned squids - European and veined - are caught together. This makes it difficult to infer species-specific trends. Veined squid is the most frequently caught squid species in UK waters.
From 2016-2018, between 7% and 22% of long-finned squid catches in Northeast Atlantic were from the Celtic Seas. Landings reached a low of around 600 tonnes in 2006, increased to around 2,700t in 2011 and dropped to 600t again in 2016. They increased substantially again in 2017 and dropped by more than 50% in 2018. Squid abundance can fluctuate with changes in environmental conditions, but the occurrence of these boom and bust cycles in landings may be at least partly fishery driven. This suggests that exploitation levels are above optimum, and there may be concern for the fishing pressure. From 2016–2018, loliginid squid landings were above the average in Rockall (6b) and below the average in the south west of the UK (7f-k).
Some surveys are carried out to assess biomass, but in the Celtic Seas a considerable proportion of the long-finned squids are not identified to species. Trends in this area indicate an increase in biomass of veined squid in 2017 and a drop in 2018. The average biomass in 2016–2018 is lower than in 2013–2015 in most of the region. This indicates concern for the biomass.
Overall, UK catches of Loligo species in the Northeast Atlantic have increased 40.4% from 2015 to 2019 (2,362 tonnes to?3,315 tonnes) and the average price increased 16.6% from £3.61/kg to £4.21/kg. Squid fisheries are likely to continue to grow in importance and magnitude as many finfish stocks either are fully or over-exploited. Without adequate stock assessments, there could be concern for future impacts on stocks.


There is no management in place to prevent overfishing of this species in Cornish waters. 

Capture Info

The vast majority of squid landed to Cornish ports are caught in trawls and squid represent a valuable by catch at certain times of year for trawlers (mainly demersal trawlers). Squid are a non quota species meaning there is no limit to the amount that can legally be caught but as prices rise and stocks of fin fish decline it is likely that better managment will be needed for squid and cuttlefish.

The best quality and most sustainable squid on offer is line caught in shallow waters by fishermen using jigs - fish shaped lures which attract the squid. This is a very low impact and sustainable, low carbon fishing method although the landings are relatively low.

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