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Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery

Map of Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery around Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean

Estimated catch: 450 tonnes

Stock Status of Target Species

Common name (scientific name)

Latest available status assessment



Fishing mortality


Fishing mortality


Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides)

Not subject to overfishing

Not overfished

Not subject to overfishing

Not overfished

Source: Patterson, H, Larcombe, J, Woodhams, J and Curtotti, R 2020, Fishery status reports 2020,S Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra. CC BY 4.0.

Management Plans/Arrangements

The Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery is managed in accordance with the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery Management Plan 2006. It is managed through a system of output controls in the form of individually transferable quotas, which are allocated as SFRs under the management plan. All operations conducted in the fishery were compliant with the performance criteria outlined in the management plan. One boat operated in the fishery during the 2019-20 fishing season.

There were no changes to the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery Management Plan 2006 during the 2019-20 fishing period.

Analysis of Performance

Performance – status of fish stocks

In November 2017, the AFMA Commission set the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery total allowable catch for Patagonian toothfish at 450 tonnes for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 fishing seasons.

The Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery has been divided into three regions, noting that the toothfish within these three regions are considered to be a single stock. Industry agreed to, as far as possible, adopt a fishing strategy endorsed by the Sub-Antarctic Fisheries Resource Assessment Group, which spreads fishing effort across the three regions.

Performance – status of bycatch

Bycatch is generally low in the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery. Catch limits of 50 tonnes for any one species were set for 2019-20, consistent with previous years. These catch limits were not exceeded in 2019-20, and have never been exceeded for any one species in a season.

External Reviews

The management of the fishery is certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. A surveillance audit was conducted in April 2020 and confirmed the fishery continues to meet the Marine Stewardship Council Fisheries Standard.