CCAMLR tag-return lottery 2016 – winners announced

The CCAMLR tag-return lottery, sponsored by COLTO, has been drawn by the CCAMLR Standing Committee on Inspection and Compliance Chair, Osvaldo Urrutia, and we are most happy to announce that this year’s winner of first prize is the Japanese flagged vessel, Shinsei Maru No.3, owned and operated by TAIYO A&F.

The lottery is designed to promote awareness of the tagging scheme on vessels and to ensure that all recaptured fish get reported to CCAMLR. Details of where fish were first tagged, and then recovered, are held by the CCAMLR Secretariat. To date, over 190 000 toothfish have been tagged and released as part of a broad program of fisheries research in CCAMLR waters, helping to improve scientific knowledge of the stocks and biological characteristics of the fish such as their movements.

The tag number was drawn at random from all reports of recaptured toothfish in CCAMLR exploratory fisheries in 2015/16. The winning tagged Antarctic toothfish was recaptured on 18 May 2016, having been tagged on 22 March 2015. The fish was recovered 33 km from where it was released.  In saying that, some toothfish have been found to move far greater distances, for example, one fish that was previously tagged in the Ross Sea was recently recovered around Heard Island.

Tagging and recapture details of second and third prizes

Second Prize – Also recaptured by the Shinsei Maru No.3 on 3 January 2016 in Subarea 48.6. It was tagged on 8 March 2015, also in Subarea 48.6, less than 1 km from the point of release.

Third prize – Recaptured by the Argos Georgia (UK) on 20 December 2015 in Subarea 88.1. It was tagged almost one year earlier on 20 January 2015, in the same subarea. The fish was recovered 85 km from the point of release.

COLTO and CCAMLR congratulate all winners and is pleased to see such great contributions by crew and observers in these CCAMLR toothfish fisheries. COLTO has agreed to continue to support the lottery draw. The next one will be drawn in October 2017.

The tagging program

Tagging and recapturing toothfish is a key part of CCAMLR‘s approach to managing the toothfish fishery. Each vessel is required to tag and release a proportion of the toothfish that they catch and report all of this information to CCAMLR. By doing so there is a known number of tagged fish in the population. As the ratio of tagged to untagged fish in subsequent catches is assumed to be the same as the ratio of tagged to untagged fish in the overall population, this allows CCAMLR to estimate the total population of toothfish in an area.

The photo below shows Martin Exel, Chair of COLTO, presenting tag-return lottery prizes to representatives of the winning vessels. Left to right: Takaya Namba (Shinsei Maru No. 3), Martin Exel (COLTO Chair), Peter Thomson (Argos Georgia).