Mandate: Management; Scientific Advice.
Area of Competence: CCAMLR area of competence
Maritime Area: High seas.
Status of Management
CCAMLR’s Working Group on Fish Stock Assessment conducts an annual review of the fishery based on the best available fishery, observer, research and compliance data. CCAMLR’s Scientific Committee develops management advice founded on two central concepts: ecosystem-based fishery management; and the precautionary approach. CCAMLR applies the ecosystem-based fishery management to regulate fishing for selected target species while ensuring that fishing does not adversely impact other species that are related to, or dependent on, the target species. The most recent review of this fishery is reported on the CCAMLR website (see http://www.ccamlr.org/pu/e/e_pubs/fr/drt.htm
Toothfish - Southern Ocean, 2008
The fishery is in an exploratory phase and is subject to a notification procedure within CCAMLR’s regulatory framework for managing fisheries (see CCAMLR Conservation Measure 21-02
The operation of fishing gear is strictly regulated and vessels must comply with CCAMLR’s mitigation measures which minimise the attraction of seabirds to fishing vessels and reduce the risk of birds seizing baited hooks, particularly during the period when the lines are set (see Conservation Measure 25-02).
Fishing vessels must also report potential encounters with vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs). Vessels which exceed a threshold of VME-indicator organisms per longline line segment (5 or more VME-indicator units) must notify the encounter to the CCAMLR Secretariat (see Conservation Measure 22-07, see also http://www.ccamlr.org/pu/E/sc/fish/forms.htm
). Risk areas are declared where 10 or more VME-indicator units are recovered from a single line segment, and these areas shall remain closed to bottom fishing until they have been reviewed by CCAMLR’s Scientific Committee and management actions are determined by the Commission. In addition, fishing is prohibited in depths shallower than 550 m in order to protect benthic communities.
Vessels operating in this fishery are also subject to a by-catch move-on rule: If the by-catch of any one species is equal to or greater than 1 tonne in any one haul or set, then the fishing vessel is required to move to another location at least 5 nautical miles distant, and the vessel can not return to any point within 5 nautical miles of the location where the by-catch exceeded 1 tonne for a period of at least five days. Vessels catching macrourids may also be required to cease fishing in a small-scale research unit if the catch of macrourids reaches a specified threshold within a given time period.
Each vessel participating in the fishery is required to carry at least two scientific observers, one of whom is appointed in accordance with the CCAMLR Scheme of International Scientific Observation, on board during all fishing activities.
Vessels must also conduct fishery-based research to collect detailed biological data on the target and by-catch species, and to tag and release Dissostichus
spp. a specified rate per tonne green weight caught.
Flag States must report catches and fishing effort in accordance with CCAMLR’s real-time Catch and Effort Reporting System, and detailed catch and effort data on a haul-by-haul basis. Vessels are tracked using CCAMLR’s centralised Vessel Monitoring System, and all transhipments, landings and trade of Dissostichus
are logged using CCAMLR’s Catch Documentation Scheme.
Most toothfish fisheries have also been targeted at various times by IUU fishing activities. IUU fishing undermines CCAMLR’s management objectives by threatening the sustainability of toothfish stocks and seabird populations which are prone to IUU activities. In response, CCAMLR has developed a set of integrated measures to combat IUU fishing. These measures include a Catch Documentation Scheme to monitor landings and the global trade of toothfish, strict vessel licensing requirements, at-sea and port vessel inspections, a comprehensive list of IUU vessels and the development of a centralised Vessel Monitoring System (see Conservation Measures 10-01 to 10-09).
CCAMLR reviews the management advice for each fishery annually, and updates the schedule of Conservation Measures in force which regulates fisheries in the CCAMLR Convention Area. The fishery for toothfish in Division 58.4.2 is managed under Conservation Measure 41-05 and associated measures.