Southern Calamari

Latin name: Sepioteuthis australis

Common names: Calamari, Squid

  • Better Choice

Wild Caught


Key Facts

  • Southern calamari is a fast growing, short-lived and quick to reproduce species, although reproduction varies according to environmental conditions.
  • Although no stock assessments have been conducted for this species, long-term catch records have been stable for over a decade, indicating the species is not at risk from fishing activity.
  • Southern calamari are mostly caught as byproduct in haul seine fisheries targeting flathead, king george whiting, mullet and garfish in Victoria.
  • The Victorian southern calamari stock is healthy, but recent high catches will require careful monitoring to ensure future sustainability. Assessments of the fishery are basic but undertaken regularly.
  • The fishing methods used pose a low risk to habitats or threatened marine wildlife.

Cooking & Recipes


To ensure they remain tender, squid and calamari should be cooked hot and fast in a pan, deep fryer or on a barbecue. Simply score, sear, and serve! Scoring with a knife in a fine crosshatch pattern allows the heat to penetrate quickly and keeps the flesh tender. When frying calamari, cook in small batches to ensure you don’t overload (and cool down) the pan, as this can result in rubbery stewed results. Calamari can also be slow cooked for hours in a sauce of tomato and wine for a delicious tender braise. Very fresh calamari can be finely sliced into ‘noodles’ and eaten raw.

More information

  • Corner Inlet Fishery, Port Philip Bay and Western Port Fishery (61t in 2018/19, 39t in 2017/18)

Southern calamari is a fast growing, short-lived (around 12 months) species that reproduces quickly and produces a high number of offspring. This makes them highly resilient to fishing pressure. Undertaking formal stock assessments (scientific assessments of the numbers of a species) of squid species is generally difficult for fishery managers, as reproduction is highly variable depending on environmental conditions.

The catch rates in the Corner Inlet Fishery are well above the long term average and need to be monitored carefully. The high catches may be related to highly favourable environmental conditions and not a signifier of overfishing. Catch rates in the Port Phillip Bay Fishery are similar to the long term average.

A voluntary Code of Conduct has been operating in the Corner Inlet fishery since 2020 which has reduced fishing effort from a peak in 2019. This Code is also aimed at improving the survival of released bycatch. The Corner Inlet fishery also operates around a RAMSAR listed wetland and is also partially protected as a no take marine reserve, providing a degree of protection and resilience.

The green ranking may be revised in the future depending on the outcome of an updated stock assessment and if recent high catches continue.