Distribution and reproduction of the Patagonian toothfish Dissostichus eleginoides Smitt around the Falkland Islands
Population characteristics of the Patagonian toothfish Dissostichus eleginoides were investigated based on material collected from both trawl and longline fisheries in Falkland Islands’ waters. The fish occurred between 56 and 2122 m and attained 225 cm total length (LT). Males matured earlier, LT at 50% maturity was 86 cm for males v. 90 cm for females. Subadult fish foraged at depths of <600 m, whereas adult Patagonian toothfish lived at >600 m. Spawning occurred on slopes of the Burdwood Bank at c. 1000 m depth with a minor peak in May, and a major peak in July to August. Males arrived at the spawning grounds first. Between spawning peaks both sexes remained around the Burdwood Bank with males occurring at greater depths than females. The Patagonian toothfish in south‐east Patagonia and the Falkland Islands had a long juvenile and sub‐adult period in the relatively shallow and warm waters of the outer shelf and upper slope unlike that of juveniles in other Patagonian toothfish populations. The migratory life style of the south‐west Atlantic population is probably very different from that of other populations, which tend to be resident as they are inclined to inhabit the waters around oceanic islands and sea mounts with narrow shelf areas.