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    Report of the UK groundfish survey at South Georgia (CCAMLR Subarea 48.3) in January 2015

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    Document Number:
    M. Belchier, S. Gregory, N. Fallon, J. McKenna, S. Hill, M. Soffker (United Kingdom), P. Lafite (South Africa) and L. Featherstone (United Kingdom)
    Submitted By:
    Dr Chris Darby

    In January 2015 the UK undertook a bottom trawl survey of CCAMLR sub-Area 48.3 on the FV New Polar. A total of 77 random and representative hauls were completed giving good geographic coverage and encompassing depths between 108 and 352m. The overall biomass of mackerel icefish (Champsocephalus gunnari) was calculated at 48,543 tonnes with a lower 1-sided 95% interval estimate of 29,300t. Mackerel icefish density was low on the fishing grounds of the North West stratum but higher at the western end of the Shag Rocks shelf.

    Euphausia superba dominated the overall diet of mackerel icefish although differences between area strata were evident. In the South West region the amphipod Themisto gaudichaudii was the dominant diet item with T. gaudichaudii and Antarctomysis sp. comprising the majority of the diet in the South East.

    Catches of juvenile Dissostichus eleginoides were dominated by fish of 43-48cm (TL) indicating the presence of a strong cohort of age 3+ fish. Estimated biomass for the other icefish species indicated a small decrease since the 2013 survey. However the estimated biomass of Notothenia rossi was over three times higher than that obtained in 2013.

    HD camera footage was obtained from a headline mounted camera at 12 trawl locations.