Implementing measures to avoid significant adverse impacts to vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) requires a specific list of the taxa that are considered vulnerable. New Zealand identified an interim list of taxa to monitor in fishery bycatch in the Ross Sea as part of its 2008 benthic fisheries impact assessment. The rationale for including or excluding each taxonomic group is described relative to the group’s fragility, longevity, organism size, and spatial distribution. Additional considerations such as organism mobility, community diversity, endemism, taxonomic resolution and presence in fishery bycatch are also important considerations. Thirteen coarse-resolution taxonomic groups consistent with FAO guidelines are identified as vulnerable to bottom longline fishing activities in the Ross Sea region, including two indicator-only taxa.