Southern calamari

Southern calamariDistribution

Southern calamari is an inshore squid species endemic to coastal waters of southern Australia. It can be found in most bays and inshore coastal areas (in waters of less than 70 meters depth) across Victoria.  In Victoria, most calamari are thought to occur in Port Phillip Bay, Corner Inlet / Nooramunga and Western Port.

Stock structure

The biological stock structure of southern calamari is poorly understood in Victoria and the population is currently managed as a single stock.

The national Status of Key Australian Fish Stocks report 2014 assessed the status of calamari at the Victorian state scale.  

Annual catch


Estimated Victorian catch

Commercial (2015/16 fishing year)

49 tonnes

Recreational (2006/07 estimate)

 30 tonnes 

Indigenous (i.e. 2015/16 customary fishing permits

 0 tonnes 

Estimated total

≈ 79 tonnes

Stock status

The tables below summarise and explain the status and management of southern calamari based on: 

  1. Stock status: classification of the biological status of southern calamari in Victoria as at 2013, taken from the national Status of Key Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) report 2014.
    Read more here about the SAFS assessment approach and classification system.
  2. Management settings: overview of current management arrangements in Victorian waters, including any recent changes that may affect stock status.
  3. Risk management category: The Victorian Fisheries Authority's overall, qualitative assessment of current risk to stock status in Victorian waters taking into account management arrangements, based on the best information currently available:

    Red Red - current management measures may not be sufficient to prevent stock depletion
    Amber Amber - current management measures expected to mitigate risk of stock depletion
    Green Green - stock status not of concern under current management

Stock status is based only on sustainability and is for the entire biological stock, while management settings and risk management category also consider the steps taken to address stock status. The stock status classification, management settings and risk management category for southern calamari are all at the Victorian scale.

Management settings are also influenced by social and economic factors, and can take some time to affect a stock's status. This can depend on biological and environmental factors as well as the type and level of management changes implemented.

Stock status (2013 data)

Management status

Risk management category



Commercial harvest is predominantly managed by limited entry commercial licensing and restrictions on gear, while recreational fishers are subject to gear and bag limits.

Read more here about the fishing methods and rules for calamari in Victoria.



Collectively, the following data provide evidence that this stock  is sustainable. 

  • fishery dependent data: commercial catch and effort data and onsite and off-site surveys of recreational catch
  • fishery independent data: data from Port Phillip Bay trawl surveys

Available information does not indicate stock status concerns.

Basis for stock status classification (from SAFS 2014)

Biomass assessment

Based on this evidence, SAFS 2014 concluded that the biomass of the stock is unlikely to be recruitment overfished.

Fishing pressure assessment

Based on this evidence, SAFS 2014 concluded that the current level of fishing pressure is unlikely to cause the stock to become recruitment overfished.

Read more about the assessment of southern calamari stock status as at 2013 in the national Status of Key Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) report 2014.