Why Study Antarctic Toothfish?
Antarctic toothfish, commercially sold as Chilean seabass, are the largest fish of the Southern Ocean, which, as a top fish predator, makes them a critical link in the entire Southern Ocean ecosystem. In addition to being the "shark of the Antarctic," Antarctic toothfish are important prey species for Weddell seals and killer whales. Antarctic toothfish have incredible traits like glycoprotein in their blood that acts as an antifreeze and they live to at least 35 years.
Through our research, we aim to learn more about Antarctic toothfish life history, including how they move through space and time, and how populations in the Ross Sea might be connected to populations across the Southern Ocean. Further we seek to understand how the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area (MPA) has impacted toothfish populations in the Ross Sea. We aim to discern potential impacts from climate change and commercial fishing on this important species of the Southern Ocean.
This project arose from Dr. Cassandra Brooks’ NSF Career grant: Using Otolith Chemistry to Reveal the Life History of Antarctic Toothfish in the Ross Sea, Antarctica: Testing Fisheries and Climate Change Impacts on a Top Fish Predator.
Header photo: Paul A. Cziko and Chris Cheng