This report summarises fishing catch and effort in the Ross Sea region (Subarea 88.1 and SSRUs 88.2AB) together with biological characteristics of the catch of Antarctic toothfish through the 2019 season. The implementation of the Ross Sea Region Marine Protected area in December of 2017, concentrated fishing on the slope south of 70° S on the traditional fishing grounds, with some expansion of effort extending into SSRUs 88.2A and 88.2B, which are now open to fishing. Data are now summarized with respect to the current management areas.
The median and 90th percentile of the scaled length distributions showed no trends in the different management areas; interannual variability is likely driven by spatial patterns in fishing. The strongest time trend in the data is the change in the sex ratio over time in the north, becoming gradually more male. The number of fish recaptured in 2019 was greater than in previous years; some fish were recaptured after 16 years at liberty. Recaptures were higher in 2019, likely a result of more tagged fish in the population and greater concentration of fishing effort on traditional fishing grounds.