Minimising seabird interactions with longline operations is a key objective of the management of fisheries in CCAMLR (see e.g. Conservation Measure CM 25-02 and 41-08). Longline fishing in the fishery for Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) in Statistical Division 58.5.2 started as a winter fishery (1 May - 14 September) to minimise seabird interactions, and has employed a wide range of seabird mitigation measures since the initial fishing season in 2003. Over the years, CCAMLR has agreed to add season extensions from 15-30 April and 15 September - 31 October to the core season. In 2015, CCAMLR XXXIV (para. 5.68) endorsed new pre-season (1-14 April) and post-season (15-30 November) season extension trials, in addition to an existing post-season (1-14 November) extension trial.
We recommend that the three season extension trial periods be added to the existing season extensions for the fishery, as the risk in the period of the three season extension trials is comparable to that in the existing season extension period. The risk of seabird mortality during these trial extensions has been analysed relative to that in the core season and existing season extensions. The rate of seabird mortality in the core fishing season and the existing post season extension from 15 September - 31 October, was less than 0.0001 birds per 1000 hooks (or less than 0.1 birds per million hooks). The rates of seabird mortality for the pre-season and two post season extension trials were comparable to that during the existing pre-season extension from 15-30 April.
Given the specification and application of effective seabird bycatch mitigation by fishing vessels in this fishery, we also recommend that the requirement for any vessel to demonstrate full compliance with Conservation Measure 25-02 in the previous season be removed in CM 41-08 (para. 3).