Muraenolepis species are caught in low numbers with bottom longline and trawl gears throughout the CCAMLR Convention Area. There are seven known species in the genus, but more work on the taxonomy of the group is needed and the number of species is uncertain. The few biological studies published suggest a relatively fast growing, semelparous, life history with a maximum age of 11 years. The estimate of K from the growth function for specimens assumed to be M. evseenkoi is much higher than for other Antarctic species. Individuals selected by longline gear are almost exclusively female, and a localised area of high catch rates occurs on Iselin Bank on Ross Sea slope. However, effects of fishing on this bycatch species depend on other factors, such as productivity, distribution pattern, and total biomass. Further directed sampling to determine species composition, life history attributes, reproductive strategy, and sex-specific distribution, and any trends in biomass is needed from the Ross Sea area and throughout the Convention Area.
Sarah Mackey (CCAMLR Secretariat)