COLTO’s Toothfish Depredation Workshop that took place last month in Punta Arenas has been labelled a success by the 40+ attendees that took part. The attendees consisted of fishermen, vessel owners/operators, scientists, gear manufacturers, and policy makers in what was a collaborative effort to assess the state of depredation in the Southern Ocean’s toothfish fisheries.
It was concluded that the vast majority of toothfish fisheries are experiencing depredation at some level, by Killer and/or Sperm whales, and there was agreement on moving to a standardised data collection method to determine what is happening in each fishery, which could then be analysed independently by scientists to look at trends, compare with other fisheries, and consider mitigation and potential management options at a fishery-specific level.
It was agreed that the outcomes of the workshop would be to produce:
- Peer reviewed paper – a global review on depredation in high latitude fisheries
- CCAMLR paper summarising the workshop
- COLTO Guidelines on:
i) Data collection
ii) Using Acoustic data
iii) Photo identification
iv) Hauling speed trials
v) Whale move on practices
Minutes for the meeting can be found here.