East China Sea and Yellow Sea Squid FIP

A joint project of Ocean Outcomes and Tao Ran



Major changes in the nature of the fishery has led to the need for re-assessing the scope of improvements and work plan actions, and as such, this FIP is currently in ‘inactive’ status.

By volume, China is the largest squid fishing and processing country in the world. The East China Sea and Yellow Sea, fished by Korean, Japanese, and Chinese fishing vessels, are significant squid fishing grounds. It’s there that Chinese trawl, purse seine, and gillnet vessels target Todarodes pacificus, or Japanese flying squid (JFS) together with other finfish species. JFS are highly migratory, having a broad geographic distribution and inhabiting both the open ocean and coastal regions of Northeast Asia. While there is great diversity and scope of JFS fisheries across Northeast Asia, the East China Sea and Yellow Sea Squid FIP will initially focus on improving Chinese JFS trawl fisheries operating within Chinese jurisdictions in the East China and Yellow Seas. The primary markets for this product are the European Union, United States, Japan, and South Korea, although better supply chain analysis is needed to fully understand product flow and to elucidate any other squid species product mixing which might occur.

What We're Doing:

  • Completed a pre-assessment and scoping of the East China Sea and Yellow Sea JFS trawl fisheries, which analyzed JFS squid export and import data, fishing practices, biological data, and management policies to determine environmental challenges and improvement needs in the fishery.
  • Conducted a one-year monitoring project of JFS landings in Shandong and Zhejiang Provinces to investigate harvest areas, species composition, and other related biological data. Included port surveys, processing plant inspections, and fishery interviews with fishing captains and government managers.
  • Working to fully launch and implement a comprehensive FIP that will lead to fishery performance consistent with the MSC standard. Includes participation in squid industry roundtables and convening project specific planning sessions, including with the China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance (CAPPMA), Sea Farms Ltd,. PanaPesca, and other potential partners to generate support, participation, and attention for more sustainable Chinese squid fisheries in the East China Sea and Yellow Sea.
  • Designing catch monitoring and vessel catch area verification approaches for application in the FIP’s implementation to improve fishery’s traceability.

Project News and Additional Resources:

Fishery Improvement Project Information:

FIP Status: Comprehensive FIP (tracked fully on (INACTIVE)
Project Launch: March 2018
Location: East China Sea and Yellow Sea, China
Owners/Leads: Ocean Outcomes, Tao Ran, China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance (CAPPMA)
Participants: AquaStar, PanaPesca USA, Quirch Foods, Sea Farms Ltd.
Species: Japanese flying squid (Todarodes pacificus)
Gear Type: Trawl
Volume: ~5,000 mt
Documents: Pre-assessment / Workplan

This FIP is tracked publically in its entirety on, see the East China Sea and Yellow Sea Squid FIP profile here.