Japan and South Africa are undertaking a multi-year research plan in Statistical Subarea 48.6 as outlined in CM 41-04 (2012 & 2013). Progress achieved during the 2012/13 season is reported and achievements for the first two months of the 2013/14 season are briefly mentioned.
Over the first 14 months of the Research fishery a total of 318 Dissostichus eleganoides and 1660 D. mawsoni have been tagged and released, and 31 tagged toothfish have been recaptured. Even though almost 50% of the recaptures are within season the progress is encouraging and the indications are that sufficient tagged toothfish could be recaptured by the end of the current season to enable a tag-based assessment of the Dissostichus resource in Subarea 48.6 to be undertaken next year.
Concern is expressed over the rise of IUU activity in Subarea 48.6 and the possible negative consequences for the Research being undertaken.