such as the myctophid Electrona carlsbergi, which had 75,000 tons harvested near South Georgia in 1990. Among the emerging Antarctic fisheries, the Antarctic cod (Dissostichus mawsoni ) and particularly the Patagonian toothfish (Dissos-tichus elegenoides) have generated broad interest among Australian, Argentine, Chilean, French, Korean, New Zealand, Russian, South African, Ukranian, and United States industries. These industries also are expanding into new areas in the


FIGURE 10.6 Finfish catches (from all species) in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Ocean sectors of the Antarctic marine ecosystem (Fig. 10.4) based on data collected by the Scientific Committee of the 1980 Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (http://

Atlantic, Indian, and even Pacific Ocean sectors around Antarctica (Fig. 10.4) where they reported capturing more than 11,000 tons of Dissostichus elegenoides in 1998.

Unfortunately, the largest catch among the current Antarctic fisheries is ''illegal, unreported, and unregulated.'' In 1998 alone, it is estimated that more than 60,000 tons of Patagonian toothfish were traded (90% was exported to Japan and the United States)—exceeding the reported catches by a factor of 5 or 6. Moreover, some of this unregulated fishing comes from nations that are not under the jurisdiction of CCAMLR, such as the Seychelles, Faeroe Islands, and Belize. Considering that revenues from Patagonian toothfish (with a retail value exceeding seven dollars per kilogram in Japan) are upwards of $500 million, the ongoing challenge is to overcome short-term economic incentives and implement effective regulations that will sustain the harvested populations. Compliance is central to the effective implementation of any resource management strategy.

Another major problem with the longline fishery for Patagonian toothfish is the production of marine debris and incidental mortality (bycatch) of flying birds, marine mammals, and other marine species. Longlines, some of which extend more than 30 kilometers with more than 30,000 baited hooks, often are lost or abandoned. As a consequence, longlines are floating freely (ghost fishing) in the Antarctic marine ecosystem where marine species are being killed through entanglement or ingestion of the gear. Annual mortality of seabirds alone has been estimated by the CCAMLR to be between 50,000 and 100,000 in the late 1990s, mostly among the white-chinned petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis), giant petrel (Macronectes giganteus), and black-browed albatross (Diomedea melanophris).

In addition to the species that already have been harvested, various algae, crustacea, molluscs, fish, and marine mammal species have been identified as potential living resources in the Antarctic marine ecosystem (Fig. 9.2, Table 10.3). In essence, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has indicated that there are actual or potential fisheries at all trophic levels and localities in the Antarctic marine ecosystem. Motivations for developing these Antarctic fisheries are directly related to the commercial productivity of related industries in adjacent lower latitudes.

For example, interest in squid as an emerging living resource in the Southern Ocean stems from their wide occurrence in the diet of bird, seal, and whale species, which consume more than 30 million tons each year. Despite the lack of biological information on the squid in the Antarctic marine ecosystem, there have been a number of studies that have identified particular species for harvesting. These squid species include smaller forms, such as Martialia hyadesi, which are abundant in the surface waters, as well as the deep-dwelling giants, such as Me-sonychoteuthis hamiltoni, which reaches several meters in length and is the principal food for the sperm whale. In the case of Martialia, 22,000 tons already have been caught incidentally along the Patagonian shelf of South America in conjunction with the Illex argentinus squid fishery. In 1996, more than 52 tons of Martialia hyadesi were captured in 7 days near South Georgia, signaling that it

TABLE 10.3 Living Resources with Actual and Potential Commercial Value in the Antarctic Marine Ecosystemab

Living resource


0 0

Post a comment