, Volume 761, Issue 1, pp 397–414 | Cite as

The Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni): biology, ecology, and life history in the Ross Sea region

  • Stuart HanchetEmail author
  • Alistair Dunn
  • Steven Parker
  • Peter Horn
  • Darren Stevens
  • Sophie Mormede


The Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni, Norman) is a large notothenioid fish that supports valuable fisheries around the Antarctic continent. The Ross Sea fishery, which started in 1997, is managed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). Whilst a large amount of research into the biology of this species has been carried out over the past decade, much of this work has been presented in CCAMLR working group papers and has not been published in the primary literature. In this paper, we bring together and summarise the extensive published and unpublished literature on the biology and ecology of Antarctic toothfish in the Ross Sea region including distribution, stock structure, reproduction, age and growth, and trophic ecology in a single document for the first time. We also review and further develop testable hypotheses surrounding its life cycle and identify gaps in our knowledge including spawning behaviour and early life history which need to be addressed.


Antarctic toothfish Spatial distribution Movements Growth Life cycle 



The authors would like to thank the scientific observers and fishing company staff who collected the data used for this analysis, as well as the two reviewers who provided invaluable comments on earlier versions of the manuscript. They also thank the members of the New Zealand Antarctic Fisheries Stock Assessment Working Group and in particular Jack Fenaughtyand Matt Pinkerton for helpful discussions and input into this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart Hanchet
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alistair Dunn
    • 2
  • Steven Parker
    • 1
  • Peter Horn
    • 2
  • Darren Stevens
    • 2
  • Sophie Mormede
    • 2
  1. 1.National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) LtdNelsonNew Zealand
  2. 2.National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) LtdWellingtonNew Zealand

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