A research plan for Subarea 88.3 was commenced by Korea in 2016 and New Zealand joined the proposal in 2017. The joint research proposal was for 3 years covering the period 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20. It was designed to build on Korea’s previous research by continuing to focus on research blocks where tagged fish have previously been released on the slope, while also prospecting two of the northern seamount complexes and two boxes on the continental shelf, where no research has occurred. Following a proposal from the Ukraine to join the research plan in 2018, the Scientific Committee requested an integrated proposal be developed for all three Members (SC XXXVII paragraph 3.191).
This proposal updates the final year of the research plan with the recommendation from the Scientific Committee to integrate the Ukrainian research with the Korean and New Zealand research plan. The objective of this integrated proposal is unchanged, i.e., to determine the abundance and distribution of Antarctic toothfish in Subarea 88.3. Secondary objectives are to improve understanding of stock structure of toothfish in Statistical Area 88, to carry out calibration trials among the vessels, to collect data on the spatial and depth distributions of bycatch species, and to trial scientific electronic monitoring technologies.
This coordinated proposal includes a catch distribution plan for the 2019/20 season, recognizing a full review and new proposal will be required for the 2020/21 fishing season.