The impact of predation by marine mammals on Patagonian toothfish longline fisheries

Authors: 

Soffker, M., Trathan, P., Clark, J., Collins, M.A., Belchier, M. and Scott, R.

Year: 

2015

Journal/Publisher Name: 

PLoS ONE

Volume (Issue #): 

10

Page #s: 

14

Contact information: 

marta.soffker@cefas.co.uk
Summary: 

Depredation by antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) and orcas (Orcinus orca) were studied in a Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) fishery operating around South Georgia. While sperm whales come in contact with about one third of longlines (averaged over 1997 and 2012), depredation events from this species were considered insignificant. Orcas interacted with only 5% (averaged over 1997 and 2012) of longlines, but can remove over half the catch during an interaction. Interactions with orcas are spatially limited to migration routes; however, fishing is concentrated in these areas during migrations times. Interactions with fur seals were the most frequent until 2009, averaging just under 9% from 1997-2012. The catch-per-unit-effort of toothfish was higher when no mammals were observed near longlines.