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    Identification of Amblyraja species in the longline fishery in Subarea 48.3 – CCAMLR

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    M. Endicott (United Kingdom), L.J.V. Compagno (South Africa) and D.J. Agnew (United Kingdom)
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    We describe a previously unknown Amblyraja, A..sp.anon, from South Georgia. In the past this form has been classified as Amblyraja. georgiana. A.sp.anon differs from A. georgiana in form, colour and patternation, maturity, male clasper length, and distribution. It is larger than A.georgiana, with females attaining total lengths up 122.5 cm and males 117.5cm, compared with 96 and 101 for A.georgiana. Male A. sp.anon attain 50% maturity at a total length of 97cm, 13 cm greater than the length at 50% maturity for A.georgiana. Comparisons of colour and patternation were found to be consistent within each form, but significantly different between forms. Male A.georgiana, were found to have proportionally longer claspers to total length (2.77% difference between averages) than male A.sp.anon. 94% of captures of A.sp.anon were found at depths >1000m, where 85% of A.georgiana were caught in depths between 300-500m. We conclude that A.sp.anon probably a separate species from A.georgiana. For the purposes of CCAMLR assessments and monitoring it should be treated as a s eparate species from A.georgiana.