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    Variations in condition indices of mackerel icefish at South Georgia from 1972 to 1997

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    I. Everson (United Kingdom) and K.-H. Kock (Germany)
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    Mackerel icefish are widespread on the South Georgia shelf, Antarctica and have been subject to commercial fishing since the early 1970s. They are known to feed predominantly on krill. An index of condition which uses the ratio of the measured total mass to the estimated mass is show to provide a good indicator of local krill density. The index is likely to be little affected by the reproductive cycle unless there is high krill availability during the months around the spawning time and even then the effect is much less than the highest observed values The condition index responds rapidly to changes in hill density and therefore can provide indications of short term variations in krill availability. Condition index provides a useful proxy for krill density that is likely to be of considerable value in interpreting the results from ecosystem assessments such as that in progress under the auspices of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).