Certifier : 
q.inspecta GmbH
Certified status : 
Certified
Certified since : 
29 May 2012
Certificate expires : 
19 Jan 2023

Overview

Fisheries are composed of one or more parts, each of which is entitled to receive an MSC certificate. These parts or “units” are defined by their target stock(s), fishing gear type(s) and if relevant vessel type(s), and the fishing fleets or groups of vessels.

When the term “Unit of Certification” is used for fishing units that are in assessment, it refers to the “Unit of Assessment” or “Unit of potential certification”. Expand a status below to view the parts that form this fishery. To check the detailed scope, download the latest certificate or open the Assessments page to get the latest report. Find out more by visiting our page on Fisheries

Units of Certification & Certificate Information

  • Certified
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Certificate Code
    UoC-0623 Patagonia toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) Hooks And Lines - Set longlines 81 (Pacific, Southwest) MSC-F-31423
    UoC-0622 Patagonia toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) Trawls - Bottom trawls 81 (Pacific, Southwest) MSC-F-31423

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Patagonia toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) 2019 451

Information is provided by an independent Conformity Assessment Body as live weight (the weight of species at the time of catch, before processing) and where a fishing season covers multiple years, the end year is given as the reported catch year. Additional information is available in the latest report, see the assessments page.

Eligibility, client groups and vessel lists

A fishery may choose to define the members of the fishery certificate. These members may be vessels or other client group members (client group members may be companies that own vessels and/or companies that are named as eligible to handle product from that fishery).

Documents Published on Files
Vessel List 23 Dec 2021 1 files

About this Fishery

Patagonian toothfish (also known as Chilean seabass) is a large predatory and opportunistic scavenging fish that can reach an age of around 50 years and grows close to 2m in length. Its white, flaky, moist flesh is highly sought after by chefs due to its versatility and being rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.

Patagonian toothfish are distributed around parts of South America and sub-Antarctic waters. This Australian fishery is located in the waters off Macquarie Island, 1,500km southeast of Tasmania. 

Toothfish are slow to mature, and populations have been severely depleted by overfishing, particularly illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. However, stocks are rebuilding, and more than half the total catch now comes from certified sustainable fisheries. The 2012 assessment showed that Macquarie Island stocks are now at around 72% of unfished levels.

The fishery is managed in line with guidance from the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). CCAMLR adopts both the “precautionary approach” and the “ecosystem approach” which require that all other living resources of the Southern Ocean are treated as an integrated system. 

The Macquarie Island fishery began in 1994 as a trawl fishery. Following trials that demonstrated how a range of mitigation strategies could avoid the bycatch of seabirds in longline fishing, longlining became an approved method at Macquarie Island. It has been the only fishing method for toothfish since 2010, with strict seabird bycatch limitations imposed, and met, every year. Gear restrictions are also in place to avoid bycatch of marine mammals.

The Macquarie Island fishery includes one of the largest marine protected areas in the world, covering 162,000km2 – more than a third of the waters around the island.

Toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) image © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book  

Market Information

Most of the Macquarie Island toothfish is exported to the USA, China and Japan.