Southern Calamari is endemic to southern Australian and northern New Zealand waters. In southern Australia, it ranges from Dampier in Western Australia to Moreton Bay in Queensland, including Tasmania.
The life-history of Southern Calamari is characterised by rapid growth and a sub-annual lifespan. In South Australia, adults and juveniles are predominantly found in shallow, inshore waters. Offshore waters to depths <70 m tend to be occupied by sub-adults. The distribution and abundance patterns of adult Southern Calamari in South Australia’s gulfs tend to conform to a seasonal pattern that is consistent amongst years. Adult abundance typically increases for six months to a peak and declines for the remainder of the year. Timing of these peaks varies among regions and follows an anti-clockwise progression around the gulfs. This cycle starts in the south-east during late spring and concludes along the western coasts during late winter. Seasonal patterns in water clarity, associated with the prevailing cross-offshore winds, appear to drive this progression as Calamari spawn in shallow seagrass habitats found along protected leeward shores. Spawning occurs throughout the year and recruitment to the fishery is continuous.
Typically found in clear water dominated by seagrass and rocky substrates, key producing regions include Lower Yorke, Fleurieu and Eyre Peninsula.
South Australia – Sustainable
Traditionally, this species demonstrates strong annual availability. New season squid congregate inshore to spawn with the number of harvesting regions peaking in May and June. The fast growth rate and short life cycle of this species ensures strong production however water quality can cause fluctuations in availability.