NIWA scientists aboard RV Tangaroa have been trawling the central Ross Sea calculating the abundance of the prey species.
The trawl through the Antarctic waters at about 72 degrees south, concentrates on the area where about 3000 tonnes of toothfish are harvested each year. The catch revealed rattails, icefish, glacial squid, and silverfish and a number of unusual fish and invertebrates.
While the scientists are less interested in the toothfish than in the health and abundance of the fish they feed on, they did catch a healthy specimen during the trawl. The fish was measured, tagged and released according to CCAMLAR protocols.
Tangaroa is four weeks into a six-week research voyage investigating the foodwebs that support the oceans top predators – humpback whales, blue whales and toothfish.