Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish are sold as "Chilean sea bass" in fish markets and high-end restaurants worldwide, particularly in the United States and Asian countries, such as Japan, China, Korea and Singapore.
Despite some restaurants refusing to sell toothfish because of publicity about their vulnerability, the fish's rich flesh pulls in a huge profit, around $70 per kilogram.
Several years ago New Zealand and United Kingdom fishing companies applied for a Marine Stewardship Council eco-certification label for Ross Sea Antarctic toothfish. Despite the lack of data in key areas of the toothfish life cycle, which led to three years of protest by Ross Sea scientists advocacy organisations, the certification passed in November of 2010.
|New Fulton fish market in New York. The Ross Sea catch enters here as Antarctic toothfish and is sold on the street as Chilean sea bass.© Peter Young|