During the 1 997198 season, one vessel, Chilean registered stern trawler Betanzos, fished commercially for mackerel icefish at South Georgia (Subarea 48.3) using a midwater trawl for ten days between 25 December 1997 and 5 January 1998. The total catch of C. gunnari was 5.04 tonnes in 34 hauls. 67% of this catch was taken in just two hauls, confirming the patchy distribution of this species. Most of the catch was made up of fish between 22 and 30 cm long. Fish of this size range have previously been shown to be ages two and three. The catch of species other than C. gunnari amounted to only 0.21 tonnes. The vessel's fishing master had no experience of fishing for icefish and was not well briefed before the short trip to South Georgia. It is unclear whether the poor catches by the FV Betanzos were due to a low standing stock of the target species, or the inexperience of the fishing master.
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