The TAC (Total Allowable Catch) for Toothfish in the South Georgia Maritime Zone (SGMZ) has been increased by more than 15% for the coming Toothfish season, reports the South Georgia and South Sandwich government office.
the South Georgia and South Sandwich government office. The TAC for Toothfish this year is 3,546 tonnes, which will be allocated during the current licensing round. The TAC is set by CCAMLR (The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) who have just held a meeting in Hobart, Tasmania, to set this year's TACs for the whole of the Antarctic region. South Georgia Operations Manager Gordon Liddle attended the meeting on behalf of GSGSSI.
The increase in TAC is due largely to more accurate stock assessments using a tagging procedure. This is so successful that it is being adopted in several other fisheries in the Southern Ocean.
A further 100 tonnes TAC has been set for CCAMLR subarea 48.4, around the South Sandwich Islands, up substantially from the 28 tonne TAC in the same area last year, this is again to allow a larger tagging programme and will show very much more clearly the size of stocks in this area and their distribution.
The season for longliners will run from May 1st to the August 31st 2006, but there is no seasonal restriction for fishing for Toothfish with pots.
In related news five vessels have been offered licences for the 2005/6 Icefish season which started on November 15th. A total of 2,244 tonnes of potential Icefish catch has been allocated between the five vessels. Last season's Icefish catch was very poor, but fishery data shows that bad years have often been followed by good years for Icefish in the past.