The Patagonian toothfish is a sub-Antarctic dwelling lugubrious monster of the deep. The southern ocean's "white gold" is highly desired by gourmands world-wide for its thick, tasty white flesh. The future of the species and a highly valuable LEGAL fishery that is concentrated in the Southern Ocean is under significant pressure from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

In August 2003, a regular Australian Customs and Fisheries Southern Ocean patrol encountered an unnamed foreign toothfish fishing vessel, skulking about in Australia's protected fisheries zone. When challenged to prepare for a boarding and inspection, the vessel cut its line and ran. The chase was on.

Steve Duffy, Australian Customs patrol leader, and his resolute team, immediately engaged in "hot pursuit" and followed the vessel deeper into the Southern Ocean. The chase persisted through raging storms with waves 100 feet high, dangerous fields of rapidly forming pack ice and the terrifying beauty of ice-berg alley. Death of a marine species or black market dollars - high enough stakes to drive both hunter and hunted further and further into an icy hell where the only way out, is all the way in.

For three weeks, over 7500km of wild and hostile seas, both pirate and pursuer match wits and guts in a dangerous game of cat and mouse in what became the worlds longest recorded nautical pursuit.

Set in the vastly hostile reaches of the southern ocean and amongst the murky waters of international diplomatic rows over supremacy of the ocean and its natural resources within, Duffy and his team endure an epic ocean odyssey of mythological proportions, that's real.

"I hope this story of international plunder and blatant disregard of the sustainable use of our natural resources stirs your ire."

Steve Duffy, Australian Customs patrol leader

As a direct result of Operation Patonga, illegal tooth fishing in Australia's protected fisheries zone has ceased. The Patagonian toothfish is TEMPORARILY saved from extinction. However, ocean plunderers continue to watch...and wait...for our backs to turn......