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

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

Antarctic Science 20(4): 343-353

2008


ISSN/ISBN: 0954-1020
DOI: 10.1017/s0954102008000990
Accession: 030312758

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.

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