Marine Fisheries Research – Squid Embryonic Development

It’s squid spawning time in Nantucket Sound!

Working with commercial fishermen, CCS Marine Fisheries Research program staff have been studying embryonic development of longfin inshore squid following deposition of eggs in large fish traps called weirs.  The weirs are hauled daily, and newly laid eggs are collected by fishermen and placed in a nearby underwater holding cage for monitoring.

Embryonic squid

Embryonic squid

Samples from the caged egg masses are taken every few days until hatching, and environmental variables such as water temperature are recorded to assess their effect on the duration of embryonic development in natural conditions.

Eggs are examined under a microscope to determine developmental stage.

The photo on the right depicts a ten-day old embryo sampled in early June in northeastern Nantucket Sound – while hatching is still days away, many body parts are easily recognizable.

CLICK HERE to learn more about squid early life history.

CLICK HERE to learn more about this and other Marine Fisheries Research projects.