Robust stock assessments and catch limits for Dissostichus mawsoni according to CCAMLR decision rules remain to be determined for Divisions 58.4.1 and 58.4.2, and precautionary management arrangements are in place as set out in Conservation Measures 41-11 and 41-05. WG-FSA-16/29 outlined the first multi-member toothfish exploratory fishery research plan for these Divisions, including research objectives, methods and milestones in accordance with ANNEX 24-01/A. Subsequent research progress has included updated toothfish habitat models and stock hypothesis (WG-FSA-17/16); updated ageing and growth estimation (WG-FSA-17/15, WG-FSA-17/66); investigation of sex ratios, gonadal development and validation of validation of macro- versus micro-staging of maturity (WG-FSA-17/09); investigation of approaches for mitigation of Macrourus by-catch in research block 58.4.1_6, and estimation of Macrourus biomass and sustainable bycatch in Divisions 58.4.1 and 58.4.2 (WG-FSA-17/16); and description of encounter rates of VME indicator species (WG-SAM-16/34).
In this paper we report on exploratory fishing activities undertaken by Australia, France, Japan, Republic of Korea and Spain between the 2011/12 and 2017/18 fishing seasons, including the quantity of data and samples collected. Reports relating to specific research milestones for 2018 will be submitted to WG-FSA-18. The summaries provided herein were generated using an R-Markdown document which can be made available to Members to facilitate reporting on data collection in CCAMLR's Exploratory Fisheries.