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    Risk categorisation for Macrourus whitsoni and Amblyraja georgiana in the Ross Sea

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    R.L. O’Driscoll (New Zealand)
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    This report presents risk categorization tables for Macrourus whitsoni and Amblyraja georgiana, which are the major bycatch species in the exploratory fishery for toothfish in the Ross Sea.
    Amblyraja georgiana were categorized as risk status 3 – species that are exploited as bycatch, and have a limited reproductive potential, and/or other life history characteristics that make them especially vulnerable to overfishing. The risk to A. georgiana is mitigated due to a CCAMLR programme to cut all skates from longlines whilst still in the water and release them. Macrourus whitsoni were categorized as between risk status 2 and 3 – although life history characteristics may make this species vulnerable to overfishing, catch rates in the toothfish fishery have not declined, juveniles are not selected by the fishery, and comparison of longline and trawl catch rates with other Antarctic areas suggest that population in the Ross Sea may be relatively large.