Evaluating climate change risks to Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish

Evaluating climate change risks to Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish

Start date
1 June, 2023
End date
31 May, 2025

This is a Darwin Plus  project, funded by Defra, and its activities are focussed in the UK Overseas Territory (OT) of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands. The project is led by BAS, along with key project partners, the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI).

Climate change is altering ecosystems and fisheries yet is conspicuously absent from fisheries management policy and implementation. The effects of climate change on high value toothfish caught in Southern Ocean longline fisheries are largely unknown. This project will synthesise environmental and biological information to undertake a risk assessment of climate-driven change to toothfish in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, contributing to conservation priorities for the region, including enhancing existing management of fisheries and the Marine Protected Area.

The project team will engage with stakeholders throughout the project. Key stakeholders include the fishing industry, including COLTO and Argos Froyanes, and nongovernmental organisations, including Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).


To evaluate the risks of climate-driven change to toothfish in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) to inform ecosystem-based fisheries management in the region:

  1. Establish a knowledge-base of relevant environmental biological and fishery information for both species of toothfish created, providing the basis for understanding toothfish sensitivity to environmental parameters.
  2. Undertake an ecological risk assessment of the effects of climate change on toothfish.
  3. Design a climate change evaluation framework for toothfish fishery management.
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Martin Collins

Marine Ecologist and UKs CCAMLR Scientific Rep

BAS Science Strategy Executive Group, Ecosystems team

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Jennifer Freer

Marine Ecosystems Modeller

Ecosystems team

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Simeon Hill

Marine and Fisheries Ecologist

Ecosystems team

South Georgia Groundfish Survey 2021

Philip Hollyman

- Honorary Researcher

Ecosystems team

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Sally Thorpe

Ecological Modeller

Ecosystems team

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Claire Waluda

Data Analysis CCAMLR

Ecosystems team

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Mari Whitelaw

Scientific Data Manager (Biological Focus)

Information Services team, UK Polar Data Centre team


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Oli Hogg

Marine Ecologist

Marta Söffker

Science Theme Leader for Ecosystem Change – Principal Scientist

Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

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Sue Gregory

Marine Environment and Fisheries Manager

Mark Belchier

Director of Fisheries and Environment