Germany conducted a bottom trawl survey aboard R/V ‘Polarstern’ around Elephant Island and the South Shetland Islands in January – February 2002 in close collaboration with the U.S. Antarctic Marine Living Resources Program (AMLR). Information on species composition, biomass, and size distribution of the abundant fish species was provided. Estimates of total biomass for Elephant Island and the South Shetland Islands separately were computed for Notothenia rossii, N. coriiceps, Lepidonotothen larseni, L. squamifrons, Gobionotothen gibberifrons, Champsocephalus gunnari, Chaenocephalus aceratus and Chionodraco rastrospinosus. For these species, biomass estimates were found to be 3 comparable to survey results obtained in 1998 and 2001 for most species. Length compositions in the most abundant species resembled closely those in previous years. The proportion of juvenile G. gibberifrons, the most abundant species in the region, decreased significantly since 1998. No indication was found for the presence of a significant adult stock of N. rossii at Elephant Island where the species was known to occur in some quantities prior to commercial exploitation in 1979/80. It should be noted that more than 95 % of the population of N. rossii prior to exploitation was confined to a comparatively small area north of the island and may have been missed by a survey not specifically directed at N. rossii. It is suggested to conduct a specific survey targeting N. rossii in the near future to properly assess the status of this stock.
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