An initiative to support research and monitoring of the Ross Sea Region Marine Protected Area (RSRMPA) through satellite tagging and otolith microchemistry of Antarctic toothfish (Dissosticus mawsoni) within the RSRMPA is proposed. The objectives of this initiative are twofold. The first is to deploy a total 20 pop-off satellite tags (PSAT) on juvenile toothfish within the General Protection Zone (GPZ(i)), as well as adult toothfish the northern seamounts associated with the Pacific Antarctic Ridge. The PSAT component will provide insight into movements between various regions of the Ross Sea, potentially including different zones of the RSRMPA, and vertical movements in the water column. The otolith microchemistry component is designed address key gaps in relation to the Ross Sea Antarctic toothfish life history hypothesis and relationships to the RSRMPA. This includes whether D. mawsoni on the Ross Sea shelf contribute to adult aggregations over the Pacific Antarctic Ridge, and whether ecosystem services are provided in the form of fish exported from the RSRMPA GPZ(i) to habitats downstream. This initiative is dependent on CCAMLR endorsing the proposed continuation of the Ross Sea shelf survey to monitor abundance of Antarctic toothfish in the southern Ross Sea in 2018/19 (Stevens et al., 2018), and a winter longline survey of Antarctic toothfish in the northern region of Subareas 88.1 and 88.2 (Delegation of New Zealand, 2018).
Dr Christopher Jones (United States of America)
Dr George Watters (United States of America)