*

Patagonian Toothfish (2018)

Dissostichus eleginoides

  • Heather Patterson (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences)
Toggle content

Summary

Patagonian Toothfish is a sustainable species found in the Southern Ocean. Two distinct biological stocks exist, one at Macquarie Island and one at Heard Island and the McDonald Islands.

Toggle content

Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Fisheries Stock status Indicators
Commonwealth Heard Island and McDonald Islands HIMIF Sustainable Spawning stock biomass, projected biomass
Commonwealth Macquarie Island MITF Sustainable Spawning stock biomass, projected biomass
HIMIF
Heard Island and McDonald Island Fishery (CTH)
MITF
Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery (CTH)
Toggle content

Stock Structure

Genetic studies have found that Patagonian Toothfish at Macquarie Island, and at Heard Island and the McDonald Islands, are two distinct biological stocks [Appleyard et al. 2002]. However, there is some level of exchange between the Heard Island and McDonald Islands stock and the Kerguelen Plateau stock [Welsford et al. 2012].

Here, assessment of stock status is presented at the management unit level—Heard Island and McDonald Islands; and at the biological stock level—Macquarie Island.

Toggle content

Stock Status

Heard Island and McDonald Islands

The Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery (Commonwealth) (HIMIF) falls within the Convention Area of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marline Living Resources (CCAMLR). This inter-governmental organisation was established to conserve and manage the Southern Ocean Antarctic ecosystem. CCAMLR employs precautionary harvest strategies that consider the role of target species within the larger ecosystem. For Patagonian Toothfish, the CCAMLR harvest strategy reference points require that the median escapement of the spawning biomass at the end of a 35 year projection period be 50 per cent of median pre-exploitation level and that the probability of the spawning biomass dropping below 20 per cent of the pre-exploitation median level is less than 10 per cent. Although the HIMIF falls within the CCAMLR area, the HIMIF is an Australian territory and is fished by Australian vessels only.

The most recent assessment of HIMIF Patagonian Toothfish estimates that biomass in 2017 was 61 per cent of pre-exploitation levels [Ziegler 2017]. The management unit is not considered to be recruitment overfished [CCAMLR 2017a, Patterson and Mazur 2018a]. A catch limit of 3 525 tonnes (t), which meets the CCAMLR harvest strategy requirements, was recommended by CCAMLR for the 2017–18 and 2018–19 fishing seasons [CCAMLR 2017a, CCAMLR 2017b]. It is estimated that the projected biomass will not fall below 50 per cent of the pre-exploitation level after a 35 year projection period under that catch limit. This level of fishing mortality is unlikely to cause the stock to become recruitment overfished [Ziegler 2017, Patterson and Mazur 2018a].

Based on the evidence provided above, the Heard Island and McDonald Islands management unit is classified as a sustainable stock.

Macquarie Island

Macquarie Island is an Australian territory that lies adjacent to, but not within, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marline Living Resources (CCAMLR) area. Although not under CCAMLR jurisdiction, for consistency the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery (Commonwealth) is managed using the CCAMLR harvest strategy with the same decision rules used in the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery (Commonwealth).

The most recent assessment [Day and Hillary 2017] of Macquarie Island Patagonian Toothfish estimates that biomass at the start of 2017 was 69 per cent of pre-exploitation levels. The biological stock is not considered to be recruitment overfished [Patterson and Mazur 2018b]. The CCAMLR decision rules were used to calculate the catch limit of 450 t for the 2017–18 and 2018–19 fishing seasons. This ensures that the projected biomass is not below 50 per cent after a 35-year projection period under that catch limit. This level of fishing mortality is unlikely to cause the stock to become recruitment overfished [Day and Hillary 2017, Patterson and Mazur 2018b].

Based on the evidence provided above, the Macquarie Island biological stock is classified as a sustainable stock.

Toggle content

Biology

Patagonian Toothfish biology [Collins et al. 2012, Welsford et al 2012,]

Biology
Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
Patagonian Toothfish ~50 years, ~2 000 mm  TL  11–15 years (males), 12–17 years (females) ~915 mm  TL (males), 1000+ mm TL (females)
Toggle content

Distributions

Distribution of reported commercial catch of Patagonian Toothfish
Toggle content

Tables

Fishing methods
Commonwealth
Commercial
Demersal Longline
Management methods
Method Commonwealth
Commercial
Area restrictions
Catch limits
Individual transferable quota
Active vessels
Commonwealth
6 in HIMIF, 1 in MITF
HIMIF
Heard Island and McDonald Island Fishery (CTH)
MITF
Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery (CTH)
Catch
Commonwealth
Commercial 3.36Kt in HIMIF, 358.00t in MITF
Indigenous None
Recreational None
HIMIF
Heard Island and McDonald Island Fishery (CTH)
MITF
Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery (CTH)

Commonwealth – Recreational There is no recreational fishing for Patagonian Toothfish. The Australian Government does not manage recreational fishing in Commonwealth waters. Recreational fishing in Commonwealth waters is managed by the state or territory immediately adjacent to those waters, under its management regulations. Commonwealth – Commercial (catch) The most recent data available for the Heard Island and McDonalds Islands Fishery (HIMIF) is for the 2016–17 fishing season. The most recent data available for the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery (MITF) is for the 2017–18 fishing season. Commonwealth – Indigenous There is no Indigenous fishing for Patagonian Toothfish.

The Australian Government does not manage non-commercial Indigenous fishing in Commonwealth waters, with the exception of the Torres Strait. In general, non-commercial Indigenous fishing in Commonwealth waters is managed by the state or territory immediately adjacent to those waters.

Toggle content

Catch Chart

Commercial catch of Patagonian Toothfish - note confidential catch not shown

Toggle content

References

  1. Appleyard, SA, Ward, RD and Williams, R 2002, Population structure of Patagonian Toothfish around Heard, McDonald and Macquarie Islands, Antarctic Science, 14: 364–373.
  2. Collins, MA, Brickle, P, Brown, J and Belchier, M 2010, Chapter Four – The Patagonian toothfish: Biology, Ecology and Fishery, Advances in Marine Science, 58: 227–300.
  3. Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources 2017a, Report of the Working Group on Fish Stock Assessment, WG-FSA-17, CCAMLR Working Group on Fish Stock Assessment, Hobart, 2–13 October 2017.
  4. Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living resources 2017b, Report of the thirty-sixth meeting of the Scientific Committee, SC-CAMLR-XXXVI, CCAMLR Scientific Committee, Hobart, 16–27 October 2017.
  5. Day, J and Hillary, R 2017, Stock assessment of the Macquarie Island fishery for Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides), using data up to and including August 2016, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Hobart.
  6. Patterson, H and Mazur, K 2018a, Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery, in H Patterson, J Larcombe, S Nicol & R Curtotti (eds), Fishery status reports 2018, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra, 422–432.
  7. Patterson, H and Mazur, K 2018b, Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery, in H Patterson, J Larcombe, S Nicol & R Curtotti (eds), Fishery status reports 2018, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra, 433–439.
  8. Welsford, DC, McIvor, J, Candy, SG and Nowara, GB 2012, The spawning dynamics of Patagonian toothfish in the Australian EEZ at Heard Island and the McDonald Islands and their importance to spawning activity across the Kerguelen Plateau, FRDC Project TRF 2010/064, Canberra.
  9. Ziegler, P 2017, An integrated stock assessment for the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) Fishery in Division 58.5.2, WG-FSA-17/19, CCAMLR Working Group on Fish Stock Assessment, Hobart, 2–13 October 2017.