Arrow squid

Maori name: Wheketere
Scientific name: Nototodarus spp, N.gouldi, N.sloanii
Availability: Main season December to May, but available year-round
Weight: 0.1 - 1.3 kg
Length: 20–35cm

Arrow squid

Maori name: Wheketere
Scientific name: Nototodarus spp, N.gouldi, N.sloanii
Availability: Main season December to May, but available year-round
Weight: 0.1 - 1.3 kg
Length: 20–35cm
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Location

They are pelagic species found over the continental shelf from the surface waters to the bottom at depths of up to 500 metres. They tend to concentrate in areas of up-welling and oceanic convergence. N. gouldi occurs in the warmer waters around the North Island and the northwestern South Island, while the more predominant N. sloanii is present along the southeast coast of the South Island and in southern waters. Similar species are found around southeast Australia, Fiji, the Philippines, and South Africa.

Attributes

Arrow squid are white with bronze tones on the mantle and head with black eyes. There are two arrow squid species that are not differentiated at harvest—N. gouldi and N. sloanii. Both species have smooth cylindrical bodies and short, pointed tail fins. Males have tubercles as well as suckers on their ventral arms. The ivory-coloured meat, covered by a speckled membrane, is firm, tender and shiny.

Family

N. gouldi and N. sloanii belong to the Ommastrephidae family (arrow squids).

Spawning

Evidence suggests that both species live for about 18 months and spawn once before dying.

Sustainability

The New Zealand squid fishery began in the late 1970s and reached a peak in the early 1980s when squid jigging vessels came to fish seasonally in the NZ Exclusive Economic Zone. Most squid are now taken by a New Zealand-based trawl fleet. The two species of arrow squid are quite short-lived after a year, they spawn and then die and abundance is highly variable between years.

Fishing methods

In New Zealand waters, both species are caught on the edge of the continental shelf, usually by jigging or trawling.

Nutrition

Arrow squid is a good source

To quality for a 'good source' claim the food must contain at least 25% of the RDI.
The Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) is considered to be the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98 per cent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.

of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is necessary for normal neurological function and it contributes to blood formation, energy metabolism and to the growth and development in children

and Selenium

Selenium is necessary for normal immune system function and for the production of thyroid hormones and it contributes to the maintenance of hair and nails

; and a source

To quality for a 'source' claim the food must contain at least 10% of the RDI.
The Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) is considered to be the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98 per cent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.

of Magnesium

Magnesium is necessary for normal nerve and muscle function and for teeth and bone structure and it contributes to normal energy metabolism

, Phosphorus

Phosphorus is necessary for normal teeth, bone and cell membrane structure and for energy metabolism

, Potassium

Potassium is necessary for water and electrolyte balance, it contributes to the functioning of the nervous system and normal muscle function; and to the normal growth and development of children

, Vitamin C

Vitamin C is necessary for nomal connective tissue and blood vessel structure and normal neurological function

, Niacin (vitamin B3)

Niacin (vitamin B3) is necessary for the release of energy from food and for the normal structure and function of skin and mucous membranes, and contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue

, Vitamin D

Vitamin D is necessary for normal bone structure and the utilisation of calcium and phosphorus and it contributes to the maintenance of normal teeth

and Iodine

Iodine is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones, for normal neurological function and for normal energy metabolism, and it contributes to the growth and development in children

.

Seafood is a highly nutritious food and is a great source of protein

Protein is necessary for tissue building and repair, normal growth and development of bone in children and adolescents aged 4 years and over, and contributes to growth and maintenance of muscle mass

. Many species are low in saturated fat and a number of them are a good source of Omega 3

Omega 3 is a group of fatty acids that contribute to heart health

.

Tips

Arrow squid has dense ivory-coloured flesh which whitens on cooking. Wash thoroughly and remove quill (bone) and skin. The ink can be retained as an ingredient also. If using frozen squid, cook from frozen rather than allowing to thaw. Arrow squid can be baked, barbequed, grilled or fried. Take care with cooking times, as the texture of squid can become rubbery and tough. Either cook quickly over a high heat (30 seconds to a minute if cut into pieces), deep fry for 2-3 minutes, or alternatively, slow cook for at least 20 minutes.

Buying & Storage Tips

When buying whole arrow squid with skin on, look for pinkish mottled skin and no damage. Arrow squid should be kept as close to zero degrees as possible - transfer to the refrigerator as soon as you can after purchase and if possible, pack on ice while transporting home.