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Dissostichus eleginoides:   (click for more)

Dissostichus eleginoides:   (click for more)

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Synonyms
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  • Dissostichus amissus  Gill & Townsend, 1901
    FAO Names
    En - Patagonian toothfish, Fr - Légine australe, Sp - Austromerluza negra.
    3Alpha Code: TOP     Taxonomic Code: 1709201502
    Diagnostic Features
    One of the two largest species occurring in the Antarctic. Body fusiform, rather elongate, its depth 16 - 20% of standard length. Head depressed, its dorsal profile flat; length of head about 3 times in standard length; cephalic sensory canals with prolonged superficial canaliculi; eye 5 or 6 times in head length; 11 or 12 small gillrakers on lower part of anterior arch; mouth large, maxilla extending posteriorly to below middle or poster part of eye; lower jaw strongly projectinq;  teeth biserial in upper jaw, those of the outer row enlarged, cavil like; a group of stronger canine teeth on each premaxilla; teeth on lower jaw uniserial, canine-like.  Two dorsal fins, the first with 8 to 11 flexible spines, the second with 26 to 30 soft rays; 26 to 30 anal fin rays; pectoral f large, fan-like, with 24 rays, much longer than the pelvics; caudal fin truncate or a little emarginate.  Two lateral lines, the lower beginning below or anterior to the middle of the second dorsal fin; about 95 tubular scales in upper lateral line and 64 in the lower; the body entirely covered with large and more or less smooth scales upper surface of head (except snout and preorbital area), cheeks and operates with small scales; 2 elongate scaleless areas symmetrically arranged on upper surface of head.  The five hypural bones of the caudal skeleton are separated from each other. Pectoral foramen entirely located in the scapula bone.  Colour: brown-grey, with more or less indistinct darker markings; spinous dorsal fin with a distal dusky area. Juveniles without black crossbars. 
    Geographical Distribution

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    Within the area, reported from all shelves of the sub-Antarctic islands, from the Kerguelen-Heard Ridge to Bouvet Island in the Indian and east Atlantic parts of the Southern Ocean, and also from all the islands of the Scotia Arc and the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula (one young specimen has been recorded from Prydz Bay: it has very few scales on the upper surface of head and the lower lateral line is characteristic of D. eleginoides). Outside the area, it is known from the southern coast of Chile northward to 30°S and the coast of Argentina, especially in the Patagonian area.
    Habitat and Biology
    Found between 70 and 1,500 m depth,D. eleginoides is reported as having a pelagic behaviour during some periods of its life.Feeds on other fishes and cephalopods.
    Size
    maximum 215 cm; common to 70 cm.
    Interest to Fisheries
    Catches of Patagonian toothfish are reported from area 41 and area 87 (on the Atlantic and Pacific sides of South America) and from area 48 and area 58 (the Antarctic areas of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean, respectively). Although most of the catches are taken on the Patagonian shelf, in area 58, the total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 41 045 t. The countries with the largest catches were Chile (11 996 t) and Argentina (13 153 t). Dissostichus eleginoides ranks as the first species caught (5,649 mt in 1995) and in area 48 as the second (2,694 mt in 1995) after the krill species Euphausia superba. In area 58, D. eleginoides is caught by France (probably around the Kerguelen Islands) and Ukraine, while for area 48, most of the catches are reported by Chile. Caught only with bottom trawls.
    Marketed as frozen fish and fishmeal, flesh of excellent quality.
     
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