The multi-year research plan that was adopted for the exploratory longline fishery in Statistical Subarea 48.6 and formulated in CM 41-04 (2012) is briefly summarised and progress made by Japan and South Africa during the first 6 months is presented. Two vessels participated in the fishery and so far they have concentrated their sampling effort in the southern section (south of 60˚S), where they caught a total of 162.8 tonnes of Dissostichus spp. out of the 200 tonne catch limit (Table 2). They have taken only 65.2 tonnes of Dissostichus spp. from the northern section to date. A total of 1 309 Dissostichus spp. were tagged (158 D. eleginoides and 1 151 D. mawsoni) exceeding the required tagging rate of 5 fish per ton. A total of 213 D. eleginoides and 5 530 D. mawsoni) were measured. The vessel combined tag overlap statistic was in excess of 70% in all Research Blocks. A total of 13 recaptures were recorded, of which 3 were within year recaptures.
Only minor modifications are suggested to the current research plan for the 2013/14 season. The current requirement for an minimum spacing of 3 nautical miles should be removed. Possible changes to the distribution of the research allocation across Research Blocks and the possible inclusion of an additional Research Block in the southern section are tabled for discussion and possible implementation.