Season catch limits announced for the Heard and McDonald Islands Fishery

Based on its latest scientific assessments, the AFMA Commission has increased the total allowable catch (TAC) for Patagonian toothfish and reduced slightly the mackerel icefish TAC for the season starting on December 1.

The TAC for the Heard and McDonald Islands (HIMI) Fishery season for Patagonian toothfish will be 3,525 tonnes, which is an increase of 120 tonnes, and the TAC for mackerel icefish will be 526 tonnes, which is a reduction of 35 tonnes.

Patagonian toothfish are found at depths of 500-2500 metres in sub-Antarctic waters. The species can grow up to two metres in length and weigh up to 200kg. Its pectoral fins are large and fan-like, and it has razor sharp teeth on the upper jaw.

Also found in sub-Antarctic waters, mackerel icefish are much smaller than toothfish, weighing a maximum of two kg and growing up to 66cm in length. Interestingly, the blood of mackerel icefish is nearly colourless due to lack of (red) haemoglobin. It also carries a compound in its blood that prevents the fish from freezing.


Published since 1978, Ausmarine is the foremost magazine servicing the Australian and New Zealand commercial, military and government marine sectors.