Swordtip squid

Uroteuthis edulis

Common Name(s)

English: swordtip squid

Medium Risk

Stable, not optimal but not poor status. AND Actions identified to reduce environmental impact and/or improve management or stock status. May be data deficient with stable catches.

Traditional Chinese

拖魷魚 ("Tall Yau Yu") 魷魚 (" Yau Yu")

Simplified Chinese



劍尖槍魷 / 真鎖管




Calmar épée


Calamaro indopacifico





Date of Assessments

December 2021

Peer Reviewer

Mr Pham Van Long, Research Institute for Marine Fisheries (RIMF), Vietnam

Assessment Organisation

The University of Hong Kong




  • Swordtip squid (Uroteuthis edulis) belongs in the family Loliginidae, commonly known as pencil squids, and is a widespread species in the tropical and temperate waters of the Indo-Pacific continental shelf.
  • Spawning period extends throughout the year, with peaks in spring, summer, and autumn, typically occurring at depths of 30 to 100m over sandy bottom in coastal waters influenced by inflow of warm oceanic currents.
  • The swordtip squid typically lives for one year, and is semelparous, meaning that male and female adults typically die shortly after spawning and brooding.
  • Sea Life Base states that swordtip squid has low to moderate vulnerability to fishing.
  • Swordtip squid is predominantly caught through mid-water trawling and hook and line (jigging).
  • The mid-water trawl fishery in Vietnam is a mixed fishery, and Swordtip squid will not be easily distinguishable from other Loligo squid species caught with this gear.
  • There is a ban on trawling in the coastal zone of Vietnam, though this a very narrow area, and trawl fishing is allowed outside of this.
  • Implementation of this ban will vary between coastal provinces in Vietnam.
  • New trawl vessels are not allowed to enter the trawl fishery and therefore not granted a license, the intention is that this will reduce capacity over the long-term as old vessels are retired from the fleet.
  • There is some ambiguity on whether mid-water trawls fall into the trawl ban, and compliance within the mixed trawl fishery seems to be low, due to a relatively low risk of detection.
  • In one province (Ba Ria - Vung Tau), during 2020, 12 sea patrols were carried out and 554 trawl fishing vessels inspected (there are 5700 trawl vessels operating in this province), with 102 violating fishing vessels identified.
  • Sanctions however appear to be significant, with fines issued ranging from $24,000 to $106,000 USD. Three vessels received the highest fine.

Hook and Line

Hook and line is one of the best methods of fishing with regards to sustainability. This can involve one person and a rod, or alternatively using a basic winch with a line of hooks. The hook and line fishing method has little impact on the surrounding environment and the catch can be selective. For example, any fish too small, or not the right species can be placed back into the water, with limited harm.


A fishing method that uses one or several nets with an otter board to keep the net open horizontally. The net will be towed from the stern of the boat and can be either demersal (on/near sea bed) or pelagic (mid-water). Bottom trawling is a type of trawling that sets the nets on the seafloor. Heavy weights are attached to the nets to stir up the sand or mud so that fish and shrimp living there can be caught. Sometimes heavy rockhoppers are used, chains with roller wheels that allow the net to roll over rough, rocky seabeds without damaging the nets or being stopped by the rock.

  • The latin species name
  • Evidence of the country of origin, vessel flag, valid license, capture method, and catch certificate
  • Is the fishery in a fishery improvement project?
  • Evidence that the fishery is compliant with national regulations
  If all of this evidence can be obtained, the fishery from which Swordtip squid is sourced could be considered to be a lower risk.


No Known FIP


  • Swordtip squid from fisheries in Vietnam can be considered to be a medium risk.
  • Whilst the species is widely distributed and thought to have low to moderate vulnerability to fishing, the most recent trends in Catch Per Unit Effort suggest that numbers are declining.
  • There are no management measures specific to this squid species being implemented.
  • There is a trawl ban in place for the coastal zone, and capacity of the trawl fleet is gradually being reduced, with no new trawl licenses being issued.