Predators vs. Fishery? Whales, Toothfish, and Marine Spatial Protection in the Ross Sea, Antarctica.
We are studying Antarctic killer whales, specifically Type C killer whales or ‘Charleys’. Charleys eat fish and are particularly keen on a large, high-fat fish unique to the Southern Ocean – the Antarctic toothfish. We will collect photographs of whales to identify individuals and characterise the whale population, collect dart biopsies to investigate diet and relatedness, and record vocalisations and behaviour using underwater recorders. Results from this research will contribute to supporting conservation and the Ross Sea Region Marine Protected Area.