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Distribution of Antarctic toothfish Dissostichus mawsoni along East Antarctica: environmental drivers and management implications

Yates, P, Ziegler, P, Welsford, DC, Wotherspoon, S ORCID: 0000-0002-6947-4445, Burch, P and Maschette, D 2019 , 'Distribution of Antarctic toothfish Dissostichus mawsoni along East Antarctica: environmental drivers and management implications' , Fisheries Research, vol. 219 , pp. 1-12 , doi: 10.1016/j.fishres.2019.105338.

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Abstract

As Antarctic fish species experience increasing anthropogenic pressures there is a growing need to characterise the structure and function of their populations and understand how they may respond to changes in their environment. We integrated fishery-dependent and environmental data from years 2003–2017 to investigate the distribution of Antarctic toothfish Dissostichus mawsoni along a c. 3000 nm expanse of the shelf and slope along East Antarctica (30–150 °E). Spatially-explicit generalised additive mixed models were used to characterise the environmental drivers of relative abundance, mean individual weight, maturity-stage composition and sex ratio. Antarctic toothfish were not randomly distributed across the region, and spatial variations were characterised by complex relationships involving topography, temperature, salinity and sea ice. In particular, catch rates were highest at depths between 1000–1700 m. Mean weight and the proportion of fish that were mature both increased with depth and decreased with bottom temperature. Model predictions were also used to develop hypotheses relating to population function, including the location of nursery and spawning areas. This characterisation of the population can facilitate evaluation of fishing impacts in East Antarctica, and improve our understanding of the role of toothfish in Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Yates, P and Ziegler, P and Welsford, DC and Wotherspoon, S and Burch, P and Maschette, D
Keywords: fisheries management, habitat use, Antarctica, Dissostichus mawsoni
Journal or Publication Title: Fisheries Research
Publisher: Elsevier Science Bv
ISSN: 0165-7836
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.fishres.2019.105338
Copyright Information:

Crown Copyright © 2019 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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