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Biology and distribution of South Georgia icefish (Pseudochaenichthys georgianus) around South Georgia and Shag Rocks

By S. Clarke, W.D.K. Reid, M.A. Collins and M. Belchier


Pseudochaenichthys georgianus is a member of the unique Channichthyidae family of fishes, which lack haemoglobin. The distribution, length-frequency and summer diet are described from 14 bottom trawl surveys undertaken in the summers between 1986 and 2006. Pseudochaenichthys georgianus (50-590 mm TL) were caught throughout the South Georgia shelf from depths of 76-370 m, but very few specimens (< 1%) were caught on the Shag Rocks shelf. Multiple cohorts were present during each survey and length-frequency analysis of these cohorts suggests that growth is fast during the first 3-4 years. Stomach contents analysis (2005 & 2006) indicated that P. georgianus is a pelagic or semi pelagic predator, with the summer diet dominated by Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba). Fish (channichthyids and notothenids) were also taken, but were a relatively minor part of the diet

Topics: Marine Sciences, Biology and Microbiology
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1017/S0954102008000990
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