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    Results of trials undertaken around Crozet Island using pots to target Patagonian toothfish

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    N. Gasco, P. Tixier and C. Guinet (France)

    Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) is the target species of a bottom longline fishery occurring in the Southern Indian Ocean off Kerguelen and Crozet islands. This fishery is exposed to high levels of interactions with cetaceans removing fish from the fishing gear and to accidental bird mortality. In order to find a solution to these issues a 25-day pot trial cruise was conducted on board vessel Austral Leader II from January 22nd to February 17th 2010 with a period of comparison with longliners. This paper describes the trial and the results obtained with different pot models. The catch rate of Patagonian toothfish with pot was lower than when using longline but direct comparison are not straightforward due to the large number of pot model tested and the large differences in fishing techniques and further investigations are needed to be in position to asses the economic viability of such fishery. One of the aim of the study was to test different pot models to assess differences in fishing efficiency and in their by catch. Crab by-catch was identified as a major issue which still needs to be solved. Furthermore the operational, safety and social issues should also be taken into consideration before planning to implement such fishery. Bird by-catch and depredation was eliminated using pot.

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