Information on the status of fjord Notothenia rossii, Gobionotothen gibberifrons and Notothenia coriiceps in the lower South Shetland Islands, derived from the 2000–2006 monitoring program at Potter Cove
The long-term monitoring program of demersal fish at inshore sites of the South Shetland Islands has continued at Potter Cove from 2000 to 2006, extending a continuous sampling period of 24 years which began in 1983, and at Harmony Cove in the summers of 2001to 2003. The decline in trammel net catches of fjord Notothenia rossii and Gobionotothen gibberifrons in relation to the non-commercially fished Notothenia coriiceps is still evident. At Potter Cove, despite an overall increasing trend of N. rossii catches from 1991 to 2006, the actual levels are half of those found in the early 1980s, while those of G. gibberifrons have further declined and remain close to zero. At Harmony Cove, the relative abundance of N. rossii showed an increase in 2002 and 2003, whereas G. gibberifrons was absent in the catches. These trends are consistent with those observed in scientific cruises studying the offshore populations in a similar period. No recovery of the stocks of N. rossii and G. gibberifrons was observed, more than two decades after the end of the commercial fishery.