Migratory patterns of Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean


  • Gonzalo H. Troccoli Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP), Paseo Victoria Ocampo Nº 1, Escollera Norte, B7602HSA - Mar del Plata, Argentina
  • Patricia A. Martínez Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP), Paseo Victoria Ocampo Nº 1, Escollera Norte, B7602HSA - Mar del Plata, Argentina
  • Emiliano J. Di Marco Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP), Paseo Victoria Ocampo Nº 1, Escollera Norte, B7602HSA - Mar del Plata, Argentina
  • Juan A. Waessle Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP), Paseo Victoria Ocampo Nº 1, Escollera Norte, B7602HSA - Mar del Plata, Argentina
  • Otto C. Wöhler Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP), Paseo Victoria Ocampo Nº 1, Escollera Norte, B7602HSA - Mar del Plata, Argentina




tagging, recapture, fishing ground, stock


The Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) is a commercially valuable demersal fish present in the southern hemisphere. Therefore, understanding movements of the species across time and spatial scales would enhance our understanding of its behavior within the Argentine and Chilean Patagonian platform. The Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP, Argentina) initiated a tag-recapture program for D. eleginoides in 2004. A total of 5,907 specimens, mostly juveniles (< 82 cm total length), have been tagged and released in waters off the edge of the Argentine shelf and slope between 37° S and 47° S (northern Sector of the Argentine fishing ground), and east of De los Estados Island and south of Tierra del Fuego (54° S-57° S -southern Sector of the Argentine fishing ground). A total of 121 specimens were recaptured: 25 (20.7%) were recovered in the northern Sector, 84 (69.4%) in the southern Sector and 12 (9.9%) in waters of the Pacific Ocean in Chile. A total of 67.5% were recaptured within 20 nm (37 km) of the release site and 15% traveled distances of less than 120 nm. A smaller fraction (5%) traveled distances between 120 and 400 nm and only 12.5% were recaptured at more than 400 nm. Using a Generalized Additive Model, it was determined that variables Days at liberty, Sector and Time of tagging were influential in the distance traveled by specimens. From the present work, it seems evident that this species possesses high site fidelity and lacks cyclic migratory movements involving a substantial component of the stock in the American southern cone.


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Author Biography

Gonzalo H. Troccoli, Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP), Paseo Victoria Ocampo Nº 1, Escollera Norte, B7602HSA - Mar del Plata, Argentina


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How to Cite

Troccoli, G. H., Martínez, P. A., Di Marco, E. J., Waessle, J. A. and Wöhler, O. C. (2023) “Migratory patterns of Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean”, Marine and Fishery Sciences (MAFIS), 36(3), pp. 245–265. doi: 10.47193/mafis.3632023010907.