Joinville–D’Urville Islands (Subarea 48.1) – a former fishing ground for the spiny icefish (Chaenodraco wilsoni), at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula – revisited
The former fishing ground off Joinville–D’Urville Islands was revisited in the course of the Antarctic Expedition ANT XIX/3 by RV Polarstern in February 2002. Five hauls were conducted north of the two islands at depths of 149 to 282 m on 21 February 2002. Published and unpublished reports from fishing operations in the 1970s and 1980s by the Fischkombinat in Rostock (former GDR), Sea Fisheries Institute in Gdynia (Poland) and material available from YugNIRO, Kerch (Ukraine) of what is known of fishing activities in the area were analysed. These data were previously unavailable to CCAMLR. Fishing and the extent of fishing was primarily dependant on whether and to what extent the target species of the fishery, the spiny icefish (Chaenodraco wilsoni), formed concentrations. Information on these fishing operations was, however, sparse, being restricted to the two seasons (1978/79 and 1979/80) when Polish and GDR vessels fished in the area. Length compositions from several fishing nations revealed that the fishery targeted primarily fish 25–35 cm long. The fish fauna at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula represents a combination of low- and high-Antarctic elements. The available information on the biology of C. wilsoni was reviewed. Some new information was available on the reproduction and feeding of some of the species. Krill (Euphausia superba) formed a major element in the diet of icefish.