Whale depredation

Working group on Depredation
– Terms of reference –

To investigate Sperm whale and Killer whale depredation on Toothfish longline fisheries, including assessment of the socio-economic and conservation impacts of depredation; incorporating the impacts on depredated toothfish in fisheries management; and development of mitigation solutions.

Whale depredation is a growing issue reported in most Toothfish fisheries operating in the Southern Ocean, and a number of similar fisheries worldwide.  In this context, the WG aims at gathering the fishing industry, resource managers, policy makers and scientists to address the issue using a broad inter-disciplinary approach.  The expected outcomes are:

  1. to accurately assess the levels and the trends of depredation;
  2. to develop a standardised data collection methodology to be implemented in all Toothfish fisheries;
  3. to account for depredated fish in stock assessment procedures; and
  4. to identify possible mitigation solutions and strategies based on technical, operational (i.e. behaviour of vessels/skippers) and behavioural (i.e. behaviour of marine mammals) studies to reduce depredation.

The WG also aims at developing management strategies to prevent depredation from starting, and subsequently spreading, in fishing areas where it has not been reported.

Two workshops will be conducted:

  1. An initial workshop in 2015/2016 aiming at presenting the full current state of knowledge on depredation on demersal longlining fishing in Toothfish fisheries, and mitigation solutions, as well as identifying the milestones to be reached in years to come by the various participants in the various fields;
  1. A second workshop three to four years later aiming at presenting how depredation has evolved in the studied areas and what findings resulted from the issues that were addressed in the initial workshop.


Working Group Chair: Paul Tixier (Paul.TIXIER@gmail.com)

Working Group Members:

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