Exploratory fishing for toothfish (Dissostichus spp.) in Division 58.4.2 began in 2003. In 2015 the fishery was limited to one Korean and one Spanish flagged vessel using longlines and the precautionary catch limit for the exploratory fishery for Dissostichus spp. was 35 tonnes in SSRU E. Only the Korean-flagged vessel undertook research fishing activity with a total reported catch of 11 tonnes. For 2016 a total of five vessels, one each from Australia, France, Japan, Korea and from Spain, have notified their intention to participate in the exploratory fishery. For 2017 France notifies its intention to participate and coordinate the operations of their research efforts with other members in order to achieve a robust stock assessment and define catch limits according to CCAMLR decision rules. This paper presents a proposal for a research plan for 2016/17 developed under Conservation Measure 41-05. The aim is to collect sufficient data to provide an advice on a catch limit according to CCAMLR decision rules. The biomass in the Division was estimated during WG-FSA 2015 using CPUE x seabed analogy. In the absence of an assessment using the CCAMLR decision rules, the catch limit should remain unchanged at 35 tonnes for 2016/17 to maximize the expectation of tag-recapture and the approach of allocation and collaboration between Members should be maintained.
Mr Benoit Tourtois
Professor Philippe Koubbi (France)