Distribution and ecology of Chaenocephalus aceratus (Channichthyidae) around South Georgia and Shag Rocks (Southern Ocean)
Chaenocephalus aceratus (Family Channicthyidae) is one of the dominant species of demersal fish living on the South Georgia shelf where it is caught in low numbers as by-catch in the mackerel icefish and Antarctic krill commercial fisheries. Data collected during 14 demersal fish surveys, from 1986 to 2006, are analysed to investigate biomass, distribution, growth and diet. Biomass estimates from a swept area method ranged from 4,462 to 28,740 tonnes on the South Georgia and Shag Rock shelves although few fish were caught at Shag Rocks. Analysis of length frequency data indicated that growth was fast in the first five years with males and females attaining lengths at first spawning of 440 mm TL and 520 mm TL. The diet was comprised of fish and crustaceans, with an ontogenetic shift in diet from Euphausia superba and mysids to benthic fish and decapods observed to begin at 250 mm TL. In larger fish (>500 mm TL) the diet was dominated by fish. C. aceratus diet is sufficiently different from the other species of channichthyids around South Georgia to suggest that these species have undergone resource partitioning.
Authors: Reid, William D.K., Clarke, Sarah, Collins, Martin A. ORCID record for Martin A. Collins, Belchier, Mark