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    A CHARACTERISATION OF THE TOOTHFISH FISHERY IN SUBAREAS 88.1 AND 88.2 FROM 1997–98 TO 2007–08

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    Numéro du document:
    WG-FSA-08/22
    Auteur(s):
    M.L. Stevenson, S.M. Hanchet and A. Dunn (New Zealand)
    Point(s) de l'ordre du jour
    Résumé

    The exploratory fishery for Antarctic toothfish (D. mawsoni) has been operating for eleven years in Subarea 88.1 and for six years in Subarea 88.2. This report summarises the large amount of data collected on toothfish and the associated bycatch by all vessels participating in the fishery. All SSRUs in the two subareas except for 88.1D and 88.2C have now been fished. The 2008 D. mawsoni catch was the fourth highest on record with a total of 2666 t against a combined catch limit of 3207 t. The management of the SSRUs within the two subareas was changed for the 2006 season as part of a 3-year experiment (SC-CAMLR-XXIV). One of the aims of the experiment was to simplify the administration of the fishery by having fewer catch limits. This appeared to be moderately successful, with only one catch limit being slightly exceeded in the 2006 season, two catch limits in the 2007 season, and none in the 2008 season. The catch limit was under caught in both Subareas 88.1 and 88.2 during the 2008 season, primarily as a result of the ice conditions. The length frequency data from the Ross Sea fishery have been very consistent over the past 3–4 seasons. There is no evidence of any truncation of the overall length frequency distribution, and no evidence for a reduction in fish length in any SSRU over time. Although moderate numbers of small fish are caught in some years (e.g., on the Shelf in 1999 and 2001), these year classes are not seen in large numbers in later years in the fishery. So at this stage there is no evidence for strong variation in year class strength in the fishery.