A research proposal to continue the southern Ross Sea sub-adult toothfish survey for the next two years, 2016–2017, is presented. The survey will continue to focus primarily on estimating the relative abundance of sub-adult (<110 cm TL) toothfish in the core strata (A, B, C) in SSRUs 88.1J and 88.1L. This is a continuation of the time series of CCAMLR-sponsored research surveys of these strata carried out from 2012–2015.
It is also proposed that the survey be extended to include adult toothfish in McMurdo Sound following the recommendations of WG-FSA (SC-CAMLR-XXXIII, Annex7, para 5.108) and Terra Nova Bay where substantial numbers of larger sub-adult and adult toothfish were captured in the 2015 survey. As it is less critical to survey these larger sub-adult and adult toothfish on an annual basis, it is proposed that these two areas be surveyed in alternate years. Therefore, it is proposed to survey McMurdo Sound in 2016 and to survey Terra Nova Bay in 2017.
Survey timing and methods will remain the same as in previous years, and the number of sets will be retained at 45 sets for the core strata but reduced to 10 sets for the McMurdo/Terra Nova Bay strata making 55 sets in total. A nominal catch limit of 40 tonnes is requested for each survey. It is envisaged that the results of the 2016 survey, and trends in the time series, be presented to WG-FSA for review in 2016 and that a full review be completed and presented to WG-SAM and WG-FSA in 2017.