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    Proposal for a longline survey on toothfish in Statistical Subarea 48.6 in 2017/18

    Request Meeting Document
    Document Number:
    WG-FSA-17/61 Rev. 1
    Delegation of Norway
    Submitted By:
    Dr Olav Rune Godø (Norway)
    Approved By:
    Dr Olav Rune Godø (Norway)

    Norway proposes a plan to investigate the toothfish populations in the Statistical Subarea (SS) 48.6 in 2017/18 using standardised longline gear, established tagging techniques, pop-up tags and acoustic techniques. The proposed research is pertinent to issues raised by the Scientific Committee (SC-CAMLR-XXXV, paragraph 3.3.252-3.265) and will supplement and expand existing efforts to characterise the local toothfish populations in the area to better understand stock structure, movement patterns and improve estimation of population characteristics and thereby contribute to the development of spatial population models and assessments in support of management advice. Additional outcomes of the research relate to mapping the bathymetry of the fishable area, documenting relative abundance of Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish, tagging toothfish for biomass estimation and for stock linkage studies, and collecting information on distribution, relative abundance, and life history of bycatch species. This initial year will be used for exploration with particular emphasis on tagging efforts and habitat mapping, and the study will adhere to principles and guidance expressed in CM 41-01. The proposed new studies build on existing research plans and available knowledge and addresses recommendations expressed by WG-SAM 2016, and is being co-ordinated with on-going activities in the same area by Japan and South Africa.  In future years the aim is to expand the investigation and involve additional collaborating members. In 2018 a new Norwegian fishing vessel will be available, equipped with advanced technology for sampling and observation, enhancing the potential for deriving significant new insights benefitting toothfish assessments as well as general ecosystem studies in a relatively data-poor subarea. During the 2017 FSA meeting Japan/South Africa and Norway coordinated and integrated their efforts into a coherent research plan as described in in this rev.1 proposal.