Macquarie Island toothfish — Marine Stewardship Council
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Macquarie Island toothfish

Last Updated: 2 August 2016 

MSC status

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


Species:  Toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides)
The vicinity of the Macquarie Island, Southern Ocean, Australian EEZ. FAO statistical area 81.
Fishing methods:  Demersal Trawl and Longline
Vessels:  4
Number of fisheries: 1

Fishery fact sheet

Download the Macquarie Island Toothfish MSC Fishery fact sheet for A4 paper (PDF, 490kb)

More about Toothfish

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. Spawning occurs from July to September although the location of spawning grounds is unknown. There are some indications that in South Georgia, D. eleginoides release their eggs near the slope at depths of 800–1000m. D. eleginoides is an opportunistic carnivore whose feeding habits vary with age and depend on the local availability of food items. The diet changes with fish size and with depth as fish grow and move to deeper water, with juveniles feeding pelagically principally on krill in coastal waters and fish making up a larger proportion of the diet as they migrate to deeper waters.

More about the fishing methods

This fishery was originally restricted to trawling because of concerns about the potential for hook methods to catch seabirds. A trial of longline methods was allowed to commence in the 2006/07 season and the entire catch is now taken by this method, following approval of longline as a fishing method in the fishery.

Fishery tonnage

290 tonnes in 2010

Commercial market

International: USA, Japan, China

Actual eligibility date

1 May 2012


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