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Population dynamics and spatial structure of the grey rockcod (Lepidonotothen squamifrons) in the vicinity of Heard Island and the McDonald Islands

journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-05, 06:00 authored by Dale MaschetteDale Maschette, Paul Burch, Bryn Farmer, Emma Woodcock, Clara Péron, Breanna Cramer, Caleb Gardner, Dirk C Welsford
The grey rockcod, Lepidonotothen squamifrons is an important prey species for seals, penguins and Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) in the Southern Ocean. Across the Kerguelen Plateau, the species was fished to commercial extinction (ca. 152 000 tonnes between 1971 and 1978) prior to the declaration of the French Exclusive Economic Zone in 1979 and the Australian Fishing Zone in 1981. In this study we estimate; age, growth, maturity, sex ratio, body condition (weight-at-length), and population density of grey rockcod using data from 19 trawl surveys from 1990 to 2014. There appeared to be three distinct geographical populations, with differences in biological parameters within each population. This study has identified separate metapopulations within the southern region of the Kerguelen Plateau and we recommend that management should take into account the different characteristics of these populations, and that this meta-population structure may be a factor in why this species required several decades to show signs of recovery.

Funding

Assessment and monitoring of Australia's finfish fisheries in the Southern Ocean : Department of Environment and Energy (Cwth)

Science to support Australias Southern Ocean Fisheries 2021-2023 : Fisheries Research & Development Corporation | 2020-095

History

Publication title

PLOS ONE

Volume

19

Issue

5

Editors

VHR Paiva

Pagination

e0298754

eISSN

1932-6203

Department/School

Ecology and Biodiversity, Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration

Publisher

Public Library of Science (PLoS)

Publication status

  • Published online

Rights statement

Copyright © 2024 Maschette et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License

UN Sustainable Development Goals

15 Life on Land

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    Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

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