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    Recommendation for an explicit limit reference point for the mackerel icefish (Champsocephalus gunnari) fishery in CCAMLR Statistical Division 58.5.2

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    Delegation of Australia

    Large fluctuations in abundance are a persistent feature of the populations of mackerel icefish (Champsocephalus gunnari) in the waters adjacent to Heard Island and the McDonald Islands in CCAMLR Statistical Division 58.5.2. The current decision rules for setting catch limits for icefish theoretically allow some commercial fishing to occur on icefish stocks when stock biomass is at a low level. Australia recommends the development of a limit reference point, such that the commercial catch limit for icefish in Division 58.5.2 is set to zero if the stock is determined to be below 1000 tonnes, or the catch limit recommended by the decision rules is below 100 tonnes in the first year after a survey has been completed. In years with a zero commercial catch limit, a combined bycatch and research catch limit of 30 tonnes would allow the continued monitoring of the stock through annual trawl surveys.  Australia considers that such a measure would further enhance the existing suite of Conservation Measures that ensure that management of this fishery follows a precautionary approach, and satisfies the objectives of the Convention.