Where we operate
The world’s most specialist fishing grounds

From perilous icebergs and unpredictable weather to rogue waves and an elusive catch – fishing for toothfish isn’t without its challenges.

We fish for Patagonian toothfish from April to September in the waters of South Georgia. Our fishery here is located around the Island and the plateau to the west, around Shag Rocks. It was first certified by the Marine Stewardship Council as being sustainable in 2004 and is regularly audited and recertified. We fish for Antarctic toothfish from December to February in the Ross and Amundsen Seas, areas conservatively operated by CCAMLR as an International Experimental Fishery and also fully certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.

Protecting our fisheries’ future

Marine Stewardship Council and Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch approved – we exclusively operate in fisheries that have been fully audited as being sustainable. By remaining committed to careful fishery management we are helping to raise standards across the industry.

We fully support the precautionary management approach taken by the South Georgia and Ross Sea fisheries. This means we operate at a level below the quota advised by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) – protecting the fishery for the next generation of fishing fleets.

As part of our continuing commitment to the sustainability of our fisheries, our crews are joined onboard by two independent Scientific observers carrying out vital monitoring and research. By working together, we can gather crucial data on the health and numbers of toothfish stocks in the regions we operate.

Respecting the Marine Protected Areas

We operate one of the few specialist fleets that are licensed to fish in the internationally important ecosystem of the South Georgia and Ross Sea Marine Protected Areas – (MPAs). Fish stocks in these areas are carefully monitored for sustainability, meaning catch accuracy and operating within strict regulations are key.

South Georgia MPA

In February 2012, the GSGSSI announced the creation of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) covering the South Georgia and South Sandwich (SGSSI) maritime zone north of 60°S.

This created a 1.24million km2 MPA where all bottom trawling is banned – and no bottom fishing is permitted in waters shallower than 700m. Further restrictions were introduced in June 2013, including: a ban on bottom fishing in waters deeper than 2,250m, the creation of some benthic closed areas in the depths fished for toothfish and the seasonal closure of the krill fishery.

Ross Sea MPA

In October 2016, CCAMLR member countries agreed to a joint USA/New Zealand proposal to establish a 1.55million km2 Marine Protected Area in the Ross Sea. This new MPA, came into force in December 2017 to restrict certain activities in order to meet specific conservation, habitat protection, ecosystem monitoring and fisheries management objectives.

Seventy-two percent of the MPA will be a 'no-take' zone, which forbids all fishing – while other sections will permit some harvesting of fish and krill for scientific research.

Ross Sea

How do we best protect our oceans?

That is one of the biggest questions facing our planet. To see how we are combining sustainable fishing with conservation in the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area, watch our new film.

The big fishing questions

Watch the film