A review of recent studies on the life history and ecology of European cephalopods with emphasis on species with the greatest commercial fishery and culture potential
With the depletion of many commercial fish stocks and an increasing demand for marine protein for human consumption, cephalopods have become more important as a fishery resource. In EU waters, cephalopod stocks are not routinely assessed and exploitation of these species by large-scale fisheries is largely unregulated. For sustainable exploitation, adequate assessment and scientifically-supported management strategies are needed. However, there is still a lack of data on stock status and inadequate knowledge of the life history and ecology of these species. The present review examined more than 200 scientific articles, on life history and ecology of European cephalopods, published since 2013. It describes recent contributions to knowledge in the context of previously identified research priorities, along with recent advances towards sustainable fishing and aquaculture. It also identifies outstanding knowledge gaps. While some priority areas, such as the development of the species identification guides and evaluation of climate change impacts on cephalopods, have seen significant advances, other challenges remain for the future. These include monitoring of the life history traits and fishery status for the main commercially exploited species in the area, implementation of improved species identification methods during scientific surveys and fisheries monitoring, development of tools to identify stock units, and the study of the environmental and anthropogenic impacts on the stocks of cephalopods inhabiting European waters.