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    An exploratory fishing expedition for Dissostichus eleginoides around the South Sandwich Islands, Antarctica

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    Delegations of Chile and United Kingdom

    An exploratory fishing survey was undertaken around the South Sandwich Islands ( FAO Subarea 48.4 ), to establish the presence and abundance of the Patagonian Tootfish Dissostichus eleginoides with a view to opening a new fishery under the auspices of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). The survey was undertaken by the Chilean long-liner B/F Friosur V, owned by the company Frioaysen S. A.. Fishing was by bottom longline, and data were collected following guidelines set out in the CCAMLR Scientific Observers Manual and in a memorandum of understanding between the Governments of Chile and the UK. A new fishery in Subarea 48.4 was found not be commercially viable due to an extremely low catch per unit of 5.37 g/hook. The low numbers of fish found may be been due to close proximity of the southern edge of the geographic range of D. eleginoides or to an unfavorable environment. Incidental catch consisted largely of Macrourus holotrachys and Raja (Amblyraja) georgiana. Interactions between fishing operations and seabirds were also examined, with no incidental mortality witnessed, but data were inconclusive due to the low number of long-line operations ( N=7 ) completed.