Diet of the Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) from the Ross Sea, Antarctica (Subarea 88.1)
The diet of Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) captured by bottom longline in the Ross Sea during the 2001 and 2002 fishing seasons was analysed (3 937 and 5 426 stomachs examined respectively). Fish sampled in 2001 were caught at depths of 317 to 2 154 m and ranged from 58 to 190 cm in total length (TL). Fish sampled in 2002 were caught at depths of 815 to 1 623 m and ranged from 62 to 197 cm TL. A high proportion of stomachs were empty (34% in 2001 and 49% in 2002) and the remaining stomachs often contained prey in advanced stages of digestion, making prey identification difficult. Fish were the most important prey category (%F = 86 in 2001 and %F = 77 in 2002), in particular icefish (family Channichthyidae) and Whitson’s rattail (Macrourus whitsoni). Squid, bait and prawns followed in importance in the diet.