Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish are traded internationally and considered to be of great commercial importance to the 13 nations that actively harvest toothfish for global consumption. The major consuming nations have the most influence over toothfish trade and it is important to understand how these consumers drive commercial fishing operations. Although toothfish fisheries, by landings, are managed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), there are currently no methods in place to monitor the volume or value of toothfish traded in the international market. Using the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database (UN Comtrade), a trade analysis of import and export data records from 2007 to 2012 was conducted. The objective was to examine global patterns of trade volume and price.
The analysis focused on the ten countries most active in the trade of toothfish over the six-year analysis period. The average price ($/kg) of imports increased by 44% from 2007 to 2012 with an overall decrease in traded volume. The USA accounted for 54% of total imports and was the largest influence on overall trends. The average price of exports increased by 86.8% from 2007 to 2012 with an overall decrease in traded volume. Initial summary analyses reveal a strong relationship between supply and demand within international markets, as well as the influence of country-specific factors. This analysis contributes to the ongoing collection and analysis of data in the trade of toothfish that will be used to identify changes in the global toothfish market and assist in management efforts.