About this Research Topic
The krill fishery first commenced in 1970’s off East Antarctica, but the main fishing ground shifted to the South Atlantic sector from the 1990’s. Interest to fish off East Antarctica has been expressed by CCAMLR Member nations in recent years, and the krill fishery recommenced in Indian Ocean sector of East Antarctic sector in the 2016/17 fishing season. Given the increase in recent commercial interest – the ‘trigger level’ (total allowed catch) in one of the management areas (CCAMLR Subarea 48.1) has been reached seven times in the Southwest Atlantic – the East Antarctic fishery is likely to expand in coming years.
CCAMLR employs an ecosystem-based management approach. This requires a wide range of data and information from across regional ecosystem components. In the southwest Atlantic sector krill management is based on large-scale krill biomass surveys undertaken in 2000 and 2019, together with various national Antarctic programs conducting annual regional-scale monitoring; this provides assessments of year-to-year variation of krill ecosystem parameters for CCAMLR to ensure harvesting is carried out in a sustainable manner. Contrary to the relatively data-rich Southwest Atlantic sector, current precautionary catch limits for the krill fishery off East Antarctica are solely based on information collected through the two large-scale multidisciplinary surveys conducted by Australia in Divisions 58.4.1 in 1996 and 58.4.2 in 2006.
This Research Topic gathers up-to-date scientific analysis on the East Antarctic ecosystem arising from recent marine science voyages such as ENRICH (Euphausiids and Nutrient Recycling In Cetacean Hotspots) in 2019 and TEMPO (Trends in Euphausiids off Mawson, Predators and Oceanography) in 2021. Our topic provides an opportunity to explore ecosystem-wide scientific studies including (non-exclusively): krill biomass, ecosystem structure and interactions between krill, krill predators, oceanography and primary production, to inform sustainable krill fishery management in the region.
Keywords: Krill, Antarctic, ecosystems, sustainability
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