Commercial trawl fisheries in the modern era started within the Heard Island EEZ in 1997. This paper summarises the fishing activities to date and collates the information on the biology of the species gathered from the fishery and from a series of fishery-independent surveys conducted between 1990 and 2000. Icefish abundance varies widely between years and the fishery is dependent on periodic abundant year classes that can be followed through the population before disappearing in their fifth year. The occurrence of abundant cohorts is not synchronised between the Heard Island Plateau, Shell Bank or the Kerguelen Plateau, nor are the respective spawning seasons. This suggests that the populations in the respective areas are mostly independent of one another.