The 2018 Workshop for the Development of an Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) Population Hypothesis for Area 48 (WS-DmPH) was held recently in Berlin, Germany.
The three-day workshop examined the potential population and stocks units of D. mawsoni in the part of the CAMLR Convention Area that includes the Antarctic Peninsula and the Weddell Sea. There was a great sense of collaboration and sharing that brought together data from historical trawl fishing, research surveys, fish by-catch in the krill fishery, as well as toothfish research fishery data.
Although the different data streams come from different times and places and use different sampling gear, in combination they provide crucial information about the different life-history stages of D. mawsoni in the region. Information on spawning times and locations, as well as the locations where juvenile and adult fish are recorded, was used to generate conceptual pictures of the population of D. mawsoni. These population hypotheses can then be used as the basis for coordinating research on toothfish to ensure that fishing activity effects can be measured at appropriate scales. The hypotheses are also useful in the development of proposals for marine protected areas.
The outcomes of the workshop will be a discussed in CCAMLR’s expert working groups before being considered by the Scientific Committee in October. The workshop was co-convened by Dr Chris Darby from the UK and Dr Christopher Jones from the USA. It was held in the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft) in Berlin. Thank you to the German team for the excellent facilities and hosting of the workshop.