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Due to the lack of information about Antarctic toothfish, the Ross Sea fishery is still considered "exploratory" by CCAMLR. Despite this, CCAMLR's Ross Sea management plan (contributed to significantly by New Zealand fishery scientists), is to reduce the pre-fished spawning biomass by 50 percent over the next thirty-five years.


Many scientists say that the management models lack accurate population and life history information about the toothfish. For example, no one knows when and where toothfish spawn, nor has a larval fish ever been found. Only in the last year did fisheries managers determine their age at maturity.


Further to this, scientists are concerned that this exploratory fishery has already impacted on the ecosystem and that if CCAMLR meets its 50 percent reduction target, we will lose this last intact ecosystem, forever.



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Toothfish caught in the Ross Sea.


Toothfish caught in the Ross Sea are destined for high-end restaurants in the Northern Hemisphere. © Sunhild Wilhelms.


The Ross Sea toothfish fishery is longline only.


The Ross Sea toothfish fishery is longline only.

© Ebol Rojas.

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