Volcanic activity pumps huge amounts of minerals like iron into the water, creating the Kerguelen upland a biological hotspot.
The upland hosts populations of Patagonian toothfish, or Dissostichus eleginoides, a predatory fish that lives and feeds close to all-time low of the Southern Ocean. The brownish-grey fish mature to a pair of metres long, live for sixty years and might weigh 200kg. The species is usually marketed as Chilean seabass.
Australia and France have worked along since the first 2000s to eliminate illegal , unregulated and unreported fishing, to grasp the toothfish’s population dynamics and close ecology. As a long high predator with a broad diet, they need a key role within the structure of communities inhabiting the seafloor.
A location map of the detected and Macquarie islands. AAD
The toothfish is additionally economically necessary. Its achromatic flesh is prized as wealthy, smart at carrying flavour and wealthy in omega-3 fatty acid fatty acids. Catches command high market prices: ready fillets have oversubscribed for over A$100 per kilo in recent years.
Approved industrial fishing vessels catch Patagonian toothfish round the upland. Over the past few decades, scientific observers on fishing boats have labeled and free over fifty,000 toothfish at the Australian islands. This, together with annual surveys, biological sampling and knowledge assortment, has shed light-weight on the species’ biology and population ecology.
This informs management measures like total allowable catches and “move on” rules, wherever vessels should stop fishing in a vicinity once a preset weight of non-target fish has been caught.
The nations still manage toothfish populations, also as fish, seabirds and marine mammals that act with fishing activity.
The shallow banks of the upland support a spectacular diversity of long sponges, brittle stars, anemones, soft and onerous corals and crustaceans. These fragile and slow-growing communities ar liable to disturbance. tackle fitted with machine-controlled video cameras helps find and shield sensitive areas, and Australia and France have established marine reserves and managed areas across the upland.