This report summarises fishing catch and effort in the Ross Sea region (Subarea 88.1 and SSRUs 882AB) together with biological characteristics of the catch of Antarctic toothfish through the 2017 season. In 2017, sea ice constraints were minimal and catch rates were the second highest on record, resulting in the shortest season to since the fishery started.
Median and 90%ile scaled lengths show no trend on the Shelf, Slope or North. Age frequencies show no uniform trend and are probably driven by location of fishing. The strongest time trend in the data is the change in the sex ratio over time in all three locations.
The catch limits for macrourid and skates are dictated by CM 41-09. Because the areas open to fishing will change in 2018, with the implementation of the Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area (CM 91-05), we recommend catch limit for bycatch species for the North, Slope and SRZ areas based on methods used to set those limits in the past.