Statoliths of Loligo gahi were sampled in the fishery region 45–47°S on the Patagonian shelf during September 1989. Peculiarities of the growth zones in the ground statoliths of adults are described. Maximum age of large maturing and mature females (130–160 mm of mantle length, ML) was estimated to be 325–345 d, that of large mature males (250–290 mm ML) ranged from 360 to 396 d.
The squid Loligo gahi d'Orbigny, 1835, occurs in temperate shelf and upper slope waters of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of South America and is caught commercially by the international fleet in the southern part of the Patagonian shelf within the Falkland Islands Interim Conservation Zone (FICZ) (Roper et al., 1984; Csirke, 1987). Occasionally, dense shoals of L. gahi appear in the fishery region 45–47°S off the Exclusive Economic Zone of Argentina (EEZA) and have been caught in significant numbers by trawlers at depths of 120–150 m in September-October (Chesheva, 1990). Loligo gahi is a medium sized loliginid; in Falkland waters males attain 350 mm ML, females 210 mm ML (Hatfield, 1991), while in the fishery region 45–47°S maximum size is 260 mm and 160 mm, respectively (Chesheva, 1990). Patterson (1988) revealed two Falkland spawning stocks of L. gahi of unclear status, spring-spawners and autumn-spawners (austral seasons) and pointed out that the life span of squid of each stock lasted ~1 y. Recently Hatfield (1991) used statoliths to elucidate Patterson's (1988) estimations of age and growth of Falkland stocks of L. gahi and confirmed the 1-y duration of L. gahi's life span.