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Patagonian toothfish may migrate!

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PostPosted: 10-02-2003 21:19    Post subject: Patagonian toothfish may migrate! Reply with quote

Bless the toothfish.

A Patagonian toothfish, a species thought to be exclusive to Antarctica, has been captured off Greenland in the Arctic circle - suggesting the cold-loving deepwater fish may migrate between polar regions.

In this week's issue of the journal Nature, Dr Peter Rask Møller and colleagues at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, report the capture of a large specimen of the fish by a commercial vessel in November 2000 in waters off Greenland.

The ship's captain kept the strange fish in the freezer while he tried to find someone who could identify it.

"I couldn't believe it," Møller told ABC Science Online. "It thought, this is a real scoop." Møller, a specialist on polar fish evolution, is currently on a research visit to the Australian Museum in Sydney.

The Patagonian toothfish is known to migrate around the Antarctic, and has previously been found as far north as the southern Atlantic Ocean off Uruguay, 10,000 km from its usual home.

The fact that a specimen has been found in the northern polar region is a puzzle, since the fish cannot live in waters warmer than 11°C. So how did it get there through the warm equatorial waters?

There are a number of fish species found in both north and south polar regions, and two main theories to explain this, said Møller. One is that there was originally one big population of fish which separated as the tropical waters warmed; another that fish migrated from one polar area to the other.

However, so far there has been no evidence to support either theory, Møller said. The fact that the species is unknown in waters around Greenland, despite intensive fishing in the area, strongly suggests that the fish has migrated from the south, he said.

Considering that the species lives in deep cold waters suggests that it might have dodged the warmer tropical waters by using the cool currents that lurk 1,000 metres or so below the surface.

Although Møller admits the discovery is not complete proof of migration - for that one would need to tag and track fish - it's the best proof yet that fish travel these kinds of vast distances, he said.

The specimen caught was 1.8 metres long and weighed 70 kg, indicating it was quite old and is estimated to have swum at least 10,000 km.

"We think it's a pretty old, but also quite a strong and fit specimen, Møller told ABC Science Online. "It's often like that in a population: it's either the very weak or the very strong that do strange things like migrating to explore new territories."

The Patagonian toothfish is a prized catch by trawlers, and the fisheries around Antarctica are protected by catch limits enforced by members of the Antarctic Treaty. However, poachers using factory ships often raid the region and catch the fish illegally, imperilling the species.
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PostPosted: 07-02-2014 14:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been a while since we had Patagonian Toothfish related news...

17 January, 2014 1:36PM AEDT
Patagonian Toothfish sets path of humanitarian passion for scholarship winner
By Tahlea Aualiitia (ABC Local Radio)Madeleine Summers is named as the 11th recipient of a Memorial Scholarship in honour of Tim Hawkins, a law graduate who was killed in the Bali bombings in 2002.

There are not many 25-year-olds who can say that they interned at the tribunal of the United Nations in Cambodia trying former leaders of the Khmer Rouge.
Holding an Arts/Law with Honours degree from the University of Tasmania and a Master's degree from the London School of Economic, Madeleine Summers is one of those 25-year-olds and she has just added winner of the 2014 Tim Hawkins Memorial Scholarship to that list of academic accomplishments.

The scholarship, provided in memory of Tim Hawkins a law graduate who died in the Bali bombings of 2002, means that Summers will take up a position of Research Assistant in the Prosecutor's Office for six months at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Which is not bad for someone whose passion for international humanitarian law began by listening in on a presentation about the Patagonian Toothfish at a UTAS career fair nine years ago.

"This presentation was about its conservation and the law of the sea and I was so intrigued that states would come together to help serve and protect this tiny fish species. I just knew that states interacting on that upper level for a greater purpose was something that I wanted to pursue in my career," said Summers.

Taking up this position in The Hague means that Summers will be working with other interns from around the world in a very competitive environment.
"It's very competitive and they draw from a pool of people that is essentially the world community. However, it provides a great opportunity because you get to work with people at the highest level of international law and international diplomacy and for someone starting out at the beginning of their career it's just fantastic," said Summers.
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PostPosted: 07-02-2014 17:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rather fatty in places but rich and fibrous and large enough to be grilled in steaks.
Teriyaki sauce may be liberally applied.
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PostPosted: 12-02-2014 18:48    Post subject: Reply with quote


In my humble opinion, I reckon it migrated from the Antarctic. It is a deep-water fish. The ocean depths are a cold place, even at tropical latitudes. See this article:

The Atlantic ocean is deep enough, that it could have made its way north without being affected by the warm water nearer the surface.

rich and fibrous and large enough to be grilled in steaks

Yeah, I would like to try a piece with chips and mushy peas.

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