Patagonian toothfish in international waters of the Southwest Indian Ocean (Statistical Area 51)
Experimental fishing for Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) took place from 28 June to 27 July 2003. This experiment was carried out by a Spanish longliner, following commercial fishing procedures, in a restricted area south of Madagascar and north of Prince Edward and Marion Islands and the Crozet Islands, outside EEZs and CCAMLR waters. A total of 57 hauls was made at depths between 360 and 1 950 m. D. eleginoides was present in all hauls, with catches varying from 53 to 1 158 kg. The northward distribution of D. eleginoides is closely related to the extension of the Sub-Antarctic Front, and especially the intermediate layer of sub-Antarctic water masses, which defines the area of D. eleginoides toothfish distribution. The survey area would seem to be located at the edge of the principal area of D. eleginoides concentration, in which a residual recruitment effect persists. The total CPUE was 42.21 kg/thousand hooks. Within the study area, depth was the most important factor in the distribution of CPUE of D. eleginoides.