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Patagonian toothfish - South East Atlantic
Marine Resource  Fact Sheet
Stock status report 2019
Patagonian toothfish - South East Atlantic
Fact Sheet Citation  
Patagonian Toothfish
Owned bySouth East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (SEAFO) – More
Related observationsLocate in inventorydisplay tree map
 
Species:
FAO Names: en - Patagonian toothfish, fr - Légine australe, es - Austromerluza negra, ru - Клыкач патагонский
Geographic extent of Patagonian toothfish - South East Atlantic
Main Descriptors
Considered a single stock: No        Spatial Scale: Regional
Management unit: Yes        Reference year: 2019
 
 
Biological State and Trend
State & Trend Descriptors
FIRMS
Exploitation rateUncertain/Not assessedGray
Abundance levelUncertain/Not assessed
History
 

Fishing for Patagonian toothfish in the SEAFO CA started around 2002. The main fishing countries working in the area include vessels from Japan, South Korea, Spain and South Africa. Historically a maximum of four vessels per year fished in the SEAFO CA. The Spanish longline system and the Trotline (Fig. 1) are the fishing gears commonly used.


Figure 1. Fishing gears used to fish D. eleginoides: Spanish longline system (top) and the Trotline (bottom).


Habitat and Biology
Climatic zone: Temperate; Polar.   Bottom type: Unspecified.   Depth zone: Abyssal ( >1000m).   Horizontal distribution: Oceanic.   Vertical distribution: Demersal/Benthic.  


Patagonian toothfish is a southern circumpolar, eurybathic species (70-1600m), associated with shelves of the sub-Antarctic islands usually north of 55ºS. Young stages are pelagic (North, 2002). The species occurs in the Kerguelen-Heard Ridge, islands of the Scotia Arc and the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula (Hureau, 1985; DeWitt et al., 1990). This species is also known from the southern coast of Chile northward to Peru and the coast of Argentina, especially in the Patagonian area (DeWitt, 1990), and also present in Discovery and Meteor seamounts in the SE Atlantic (Figure 3) and El Cano Ridge in the South Indian Ocean (López-Abellán and Gonzalez, 1999; López-Abellán, 2005).

In SEAFO CA the stock structure of the species is unknown. The CCAMLR Scientific Committee in 2009 noted that in most years (since 2003) the main species caught in CCAMLR sub-area 48.6 (adjacent to and directly south of SEAFO Division D) is D. eleginoides. The distribution of the species appears to be driven by the sub-Antarctic front which extends into the SEAFO CA.


Figure 2. Species geographical distribution in the SEAFO CA (source: Species profile on the SEAFO website).


Geographical Distribution
Jurisdictional distribution: Straddling between High Seas and EEZ


In SEAFO CA, the fishery from 2011 to 2017 took place in Sub-Area D, being concentrated over seamounts in Division D1, at Discovery seamount and also at seamounts located in the western part of Sub-Area D (Fig. 3).


Figure 3. Reported catch of Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) aggregated to 100 km diameter hexagonal cells (2011-2019).


Table 1. Number of sets by year and location. (*) Preliminary to September
Year Western Discovery D1- Meteor
2010 27 5 118
2011 1 207 54
2012 68 207 25
2013 0 108 57
2014 100 64 13
2015 0 24 127
2016 0 22 67
2017 34 0 0
2018 0 0 100
2019(*) 0 0 75


Water Area Overview
Spatial Scale: Regional

Geo References
Resource Structure
Considered a single stock: No

Exploitation
 

Table 2 presents data on Patagonian toothfish catches and discards listed by country, as well as fishing gear used and the management area from which catches were taken. Discards were mainly due to parasite infection of fish. In the last three years with complete data (2017, 2018 and 2019) retained catches were 12, 57 and 37 t respectively and the annual weight of discarded specimens was less than 1 t in the three year period.


Table 2. Catches (tons) of Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) by South Africa, Spain, Japan and Korea. (*) Preliminary to September.
Nation Spain Japan Korea South Africa
Fishing method Longlines Longlines Longlines Longlines
Management Area D0 D0 D1 D0 D1 D0 D1
Catch details (t) Ret. Dis. Ret. Dis. Ret. Dis. Ret. Dis. Ret. Dis. Ret. Dis. Ret. Dis.
2002 18                          
2003 101   47       245              
2004 6   124                      
2005 N/F N/F 158       10              
2006 11   155                      
2007 N/F   166                      
2008 N/F N/F 122 0 N/F N/F 76              
2009 N/F N/F 86 0 74 0 16 0 46 0 N/F N/F N/F N/F
2010 26 0 N/F N/F 54 2 N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F
2011 N/F N/F 159 6 N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F 15 0 28 0
2012 N/F N/F 86 3 N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F 24 0 12 0
2013 N/F N/F 41 2 19 1 N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F
2014 N/F N/F 67 6 12 <1 N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F
2015 N/F N/F 7 <1 52 <1 N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F
2016 N/F N/F 7 <1 53 <1 N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F
2017 N/F N/f 12 <1 N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F
2018 N/F N/F N/F N/F 57 <1 N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F
2019* N/F N/f N/F N/F 37 <1 N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F N/F

N/F = No Fishing; Blank fields = No data available; Ret.= Retained catch; Dis. = Discarded catch


Table 3. Catches (tons) of Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) by South Africa, Spain, Japan and Korea. (*) Preliminary to September.
Nation Japan
Fishing method Longlines
Management Area D0 D1
Catch details (t) Ret. Disc. Ret. Disc.
2014 ˂ 1 0 0 0
2015 0 0 0 0
2016 0 0 0 0
2017 0 0 N/F N/F
2018 N/F N/F 0 0
2019* N/F N/F 0 0

N/F = No Fishing; Blank fields = No data available; Ret. = Retained; Disc. = Discarded



Retained and discarded bycatch from the Patagonian toothfish fishery are presented in Table 4. The two most important species (in terms of weight) are grenadiers (GRV) and Blue antimora (ANT).
Assessment
 

There are no agreed stock assessments.


Data

The number of fishing sets sampled from 2009 onwards (including all bottom longliners) indicates a good sampling level in line with the SEAFO preliminary guidelines for data collection (Table 5). On average, samplings were conducted in 98% of the total sets and 19 specimens were measured per sampled fishing set, which is considered acceptable given the length range of the exploited population. In future it will be necessary to apply this sampling effort of 20 individuals in all sampled fishing sets.
Table 5. The Annual total number of sets and sampling effort (2009-2019*) (Include the number of fish sampled.


Assessment Model
Length data and frequency distribution

Figure 4 shows the annual total length frequency distributions of Patagonian toothfish catches based on the observer data from all fleets submitted to SEAFO. Length frequency distributions for the period 2009-2019 suggest a shift towards smaller lengths in the catches in more recent years. The proportion of large fish appears to be declining.
Figure 4. Annual size % freq. distributions of D. eleginoides in Sub-Area D (2009-2019) (2019 provisional) (September) (Red vertical line represents 100cm).
Figure 4. Annual size % freq. distributions of D. eleginoides in Sub-Area D (2009-2019) (2019 provisional) (September) (Red vertical line represents 100cm).
Figure 4. Annual size % freq. distributions of D. eleginoides in Sub-Area D (2009-2019) (2019 provisional) (September) (Red vertical line represents 100cm).
Figure 4. Annual size % freq. distributions of D. eleginoides in Sub-Area D (2009-2019) (2019 provisional) (September) (Red vertical line represents 100cm).
Figure 4. Annual size % freq. distributions of D. eleginoides in Sub-Area D (2009-2019) (2019 provisional) (September) (Red vertical line represents 100cm).
Figure 4. Annual size % freq. distributions of D. eleginoides in Sub-Area D (2009-2019) (2019 provisional) (September) (Red vertical line represents 100cm).
Figure 4. Annual size % freq. distributions of D. eleginoides in Sub-Area D (2009-2019) (2019 provisional) (September) (Red vertical line represents 100cm).
Figure 4. Annual size % freq. distributions of D. eleginoides in Sub-Area D (2009-2019) (2019 provisional) (September) (Red vertical line represents 100cm).


Length-weight relationships

Table 6 shows the length-weight relationships by sex based on observer data from Japanese fleet in 2013.


Table 6. Length-weight relationships by sex based on observer data from Japanese fleet in 2013.
Samples a b r2 n
Males 1E-06 3.4484 0.9768 405
Females 2E-06 3.4296 0.9579 860


Age and growth parameters

There is no available information for this species in the SEAFO CA.


Reproductive parameters

There is no available information for this species in the SEAFO CA.


Natural Mortality

There is no available information for this species in the SEAFO CA.


Feeding and trophic relationships (including species interaction)

There is no available information for this species in the SEAFO CA.


Tagging and migration

Eleven specimens were tagged in Subarea D in 2006 and fourteen in 2010 (Spanish flagged Viking Bay vessel). However, there is no available information on recoveries of tagged specimens or on tagged specimens tagged at adjacent areas of CCAMLR.


Results
Reference Point
 

In 2015, the Commission adopted Harvest Control Rule (HCR) to decide TAC if no agreed stock assessments are available. This HCR had been applied in NAFO (Greenland halibut during 2011-2017) and CCSBT (southern bluefin tuna), which uses average of slopes of CPUE in recent 5 years (Fig. 5).



In the HCR, standardized CPUE is preferable to apply. Although SC estimated standardized CPUE using generalised linear models (GLM) five times in the past (2014, 2015, 2016-twice and 2018), all results indicated that correlation coefficients (goodness of fitness) were too low (r2 < 30%) to provide the plausible standardized CPUE for the HCR and SC did not agreed to use standardized CPUE for HCR



Then SC12 (2016) agreed to apply nominal CPUE for the HCR. As nominal Japanese CPUE in the Meteor and Discovery seamounts areas are continuously available (2003-2018), SC12 (2016) agreed to use the slope of average of two nominal CPUE and applied in 2016.




Figure 5. Upper: Nominal CPUE trend and its slope in Meteor (left) and Discovery(right) areas in recent 5 years (2014-2018). Lower: Average CPUE trend of two nominal CPUE and its slope.

Computation of TAC (2019-2020) using HCR:

Slope (2014-2018) (Discovery) = -0.527

Slope (2014-2018) (Meteor) = +0.495

Slope (2014-2018) (based on average N_CPUE in 2 areas) = +0.0341

TAC (2019-20) = TAC (2017-2018) * (1+0.0341) =266(ton)*1.0341=275(ton)

Difference (%) = (275-266)/266=0.034(3.4%) < 5%

Hence TAC (2019-2020) = 275 tons


Management
Management unit: Yes

Management Advice

Using the same method, TAC for 2019-2020 is computed as 275 t for Sub-Area D (Box 1) in SC (2018). Then SC (2018) recommends TAC for Sub-Area D of 275 t and a zero TAC for the remainder of the SEAFO CA for the years 2019 and 2020.


Source of information
 
SEAFO “SC-SEAFO-2019. Report of the 15th Annual Meeting of the SEAFO Scientific Committee. SEAFO SC Report 2019.” 2019 Click to openhttp://www.seafo.org/media/578a3179-65a6-4778-ac48-c76ef891b4ed/SEAFOweb/pdf/SC/private/2019/eng/SC%20Report%202019%20-%20Final_pdf
Bibliography
 
Arana, P. “Reproductive aspects of the Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) off southern Chile. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res., 37(3): 381-394.” 2009.
Dewitt, H.H., P.C. Heemstra and O. Gon. “Nototheniidae. In: Fishes of the Southern Ocean, O. Gon and P.C. Heemstra (Eds.). J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology, Grahamstown, South Africa: 279-331.” 1990.
Horn, P.L. “Age and growth of Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) and Antarctic toothfish (D. mawsoni) in waters from the New Zealand subantarctic to the Ross Sea, Antarctica Fisheries Research, 56:275-287.” 2002.
Hureau, J.C. “Family Nothoteniidae-Antarctic rock cods. In: FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Southern Ocean: Fishing Areas 48, 58 and 88 (CCAMLR Convention Area). Fischer, W. and J.C. Hureau (Eds). FAO, Rome, vols. I-II, 470 p.” 1985.
López-Abellán L.J. and J. González “Results of the longline survey on the seamounts in the southeast Atlantic and in the CCAMLR Subarea 48.6 (Atlantic Ocean) and Division 58.4.4 (Indian Ocean). CCAMLR Science, Vol. 6: 99-116.” 1999 Click to openhttp://www.ccamlr.org/en/system/files/science_journal_papers/08lopez-abellan.pdf
López-Abellán, L.J. “Patagonian toothfish in international waters of the Southwest Indian Ocean (Statistical Area 51). CCAMLR Science, 12: 207–214.” 2005 Click to openhttp://www.ccamlr.org/en/system/files/science_journal_papers/13lopez-abellan.pdf
Prager, M. “User’s Manual for ASPIC: A Stock-Production Model Incorporating Covariates (ver. 5) and auxiliary programs, Population Dynamics Team, Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 101 Pivers Island Road, Beaufort, North Carolina 28516 USA: National Marine Fisheries Service Beaufort Laboratory Document BL-2004-01.” 2004.
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