South Georgia icefish pelagic trawl — Marine Stewardship Council
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You are here: Home Track a fishery Fisheries in the MSC program Certified fisheries South Atlantic / Indian Ocean South Georgia icefish pelagic trawl

South Georgia icefish pelagic trawl

Last Updated: 5 July 2016 

MSC status

Certified as sustainable on 22 October 2010. Re-certified 5 July 2016.


Species:  Icefish (Champsocephalus gunnari)
Location:  South Georgia Maritime Zone, within CCAMLR Subarea 48.3
Fishing methods:  Pelagic Trawl
Number of fisheries: 1

More about Icefish

Icefish is found in both the Atlantic (Bouvet Island, South Georgia, South Sandwich, South Orkney, South Shetland Islands and the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula) and Indian Oceans (Kerguelen and Heard and McDonald Islands). The species is now exploited only at South Georgia and in the Heard Island and McDonald Islands fishery, with occasional strong year classes at Kerguelen also being fished.

Spawning is known to take place during the winter months (March - May) in South Georgia in the fjords and shallower parts of the shelf to the northeast of South Georgia, with most fish coming into spawning condition in May. All commercial fishing activity occurs further than 12nm from the coast and therefore the spawning and fishing areas do not overlap.

More about the fishing methods

The gear used is a pelagic trawl, as regulated, with no protection; it would be ripped if it came into contact with the seabed. Hence interaction with the seabed is actively avoided. The legal minimum mesh size is 90mm, but Polar Ltd use 95mm in order to allow a MLS of 150g fish which normally relate to a length size of 24cm. Pelagic doors are used.

Commercial market

Catches are all exported. Significant markets are currently in SE Asia and eastern Europe.

Actual eligibility date

15th April 2010

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