Age estimation and lead-radium dating of Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) in the Ross Sea

Cassandra M. Brooks, Allen H. Andrews, Julian R. Ashford, Nakul Ramanna, Christopher D. Jones, Craig C. Lundstrom, Gregor M. Cailliet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) are the target of an important commercial fishery in the Southern Ocean, yet age data used for management have not been comprehensively tested for accuracy. In this study, Antarctic toothfish were aged using counts of otolith growth zones based on criteria established for Patagonian toothfish, D. eleginoides, a closely related species. To validate these ages, the radioactive disequilibrium of lead-210 and radium-226 in otolith cores was measured and used as an independent chronometer to accurately determine age across the range of fish caught in large numbers by the fishery. Growth-zone counts indicated Antarctic toothfish live to at least 39 years of age, and were in close agreement with the chronometer, validating the age estimation criteria and the accuracy of age estimates. Von Bertalanffy growth function parameters indicated Antarctic toothfish were relatively slow-growing (k = 0.111), especially in relation to their maximum size (L = 158.9 cm).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-338
Number of pages10
JournalPolar Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Age validation
  • Antarctic toothfish
  • Dissostichus mawsoni
  • Lead-radium dating
  • Nototheniidae
  • Radiometric dating
  • Ross Sea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Age estimation and lead-radium dating of Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) in the Ross Sea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this