Finfish stocks in the Antarctic Peninsula region (CCAMLR Statistical Subarea 48.1) have been exploited from 1978179 to 1988189 with most of the commercial harvesting taking place in the first two years of the fishery. Results of bottom trawl surveys conducted by Germany in the vicinity of Elephant Island in the 1980s showed that stocks of Champsocephalus gunnari, Notothenia rossii, Gobionotothen gibberifrons, Chaenocephalus aceratus have been considerably affected by fishing. Stocks of G. gibberifrons and C. aceratus had apparently recovered to a large extent by the second half of the 1980s. C. gunnari remained at a low level. The status of N. rossii is still unclear, although some recovery was apparent from length compositions obtained in the 1980s. The Antarctic Peninsula region was closed for finfishing from 1989190 onwards. Results of the first bottom trawl survey carried out after the closure of the area in November-December 1996 suggested that the fish standing stock biomass had further declined. Given the low abundance of C. gunnari and other species and the difficulties in managing fisheries which exploit mixed-species assemblages there appears to be little prospect at present in re-opening the fishery around Elephant Island.
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