Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) toothfish — Marine Stewardship Council
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You are here: Home Track a fishery Fisheries in the MSC program Certified fisheries Southern Ocean Heard Island and Mc Donald Islands (HIMI) toothfish

Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) toothfish

Last Updated: 2 August 2016

MSC status

Certified as sustainable in March 2012. Entered re-assessment July 2016. 


Species:  Toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides)
The vicinity of the Heard Island and McDonald islands, Southern Ocean, Australian EEZ. CCAMLR region 58.5.2., FAO area 58.
Fishing methods: Demersal trawl and demersal long line
Number of fisheries: 1

Fishery fact sheet

Fishery Fact Sheet for the Heard Island and McDonald Islands toothfish (HIMI) fishery for A4 paper (PDF, 493kb)

More about toothfish

The species is a member of the Family Notothenidae and is one of two species in the genus, Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) being the other. Patagonian toothfish grow to over 2.2 m long and live to a maximum of over 50 years of age. Patagonian toothfish grow to over 2.2 m long and live to a maximum of over 50 years of age.The species is widely distributed from the slope waters off Chile and Argentina south of 30–35°S to the islands and shelf areas in sub-Antarctic waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Ocean sectors of the Southern Ocean.D. eleginoides occurs throughout the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Islands Plateau (in the Australian EEZ), from shallow depths near Heard Island to at least 1 800 m depth around the periphery of the plateau.The average size of toothfish caught increases with increasing depth of the fishery. It is believed they move to deeper waters once sexual maturity is reached and that juveniles move into the fishery from shallower coastal waters. Very few fish greater than 850 mm are caught by the trawl fishery.As fish grow, they move to deeper waters, and are recruited to the trawl fishery on the plateau slopes in depths of 450 to 800 m. Here there are several areas of local abundance that constitute the main trawling grounds where the majority of fish caught are between 500 and 750 mm TL.The spawning dynamics of Patagonian toothfish in the Australian EEZ at Heard Island and McDonald Islands, and their importance to spawning activity across the Kerguelen Plateau are currently under investigation. Preliminary results indicate that there is spawning in the HIMI EEZ on the western slopes of the HIMI side of the Kerguelen plateau, and on Skif Bank to the west of Kerguelen Island.D. eleginoides is an opportunistic carnivore whose feeding habits vary with age and depend on the local availability of food items

Tonnage of the fishery

In 2008/09 combined Trawl and Longline catch was 2,324 tonnes with a TAC of 2,500 tonnes.

Commercial market

USA, Japan, China and Eastern Europe.

Actual eligibility date

14 March 2012


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