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    Fishing for toothfish using pots: results of trials undertaken around South Georgia, March–May 2000

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    D. Agnew, T. Daw, M. Purves and G. Pilling (United Kingdom)
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    During the period March to May 2000, the UK undertook trials of a pot fishing method to catch D. eleginoides around South Georgia (Sub-area 48.3). This method has the potential to minimise, or eliminate, incidental bird mortality when compared to the standard longline method. This paper describes the trial, the results, and discusses the commercial viability of this fishing method for toothfish fisheries in the CCAMLR area. While the method successfully caught D. eleginoides, there was a large bycatch of crab species. The catch rate of toothfish was notably lower than that achieved in the longline fishery. Importantly, the use of pots eliminated bird bycatch. To capitalise on this feature, there is a need to improve the commercial viability of the method and minimise the quantity of bycatch. A number of potential changes are suggested to this end.