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    Sea ice characterisation of the proposed Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area Special Research Zone

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    Document Number:
    SC-CAMLR-XXXIV/BG/31
    Author(s):
    S. Parker, S. Hoyle, S. Hanchet and R.J.C. Currey (New Zealand)
    Submitted By:
    Dr Rohan Currey (New Zealand)
    Abstract

    Paper CAMLR-XXXIV/29 proposes an MPA for the Ross Sea region that includes a Special Research Zone (SRZ) along with three other General Protection Areas. This paper presents an analysis of sea ice within and surrounding the boundaries of the proposed SRZ over the past 16 years, the impact it has had on the fishery in the area during that time, and potential influences sea ice might impose on achieving the objectives of the proposed SRZ in the future. Based on historic satellite-derived sea ice coverage data, the upper shelf and slope areas within the SRZ (fishable depths) were accessible to fishing in about half of the fishing seasons. Over the past 16 seasons, the SRZ was accessible to fishing in January in 8 seasons, open later (mostly after the fishery closed) and never completely cleared in 4 seasons, and remained severely constrained by sea ice in the remaining 4 seasons. However, some catch was still removed from the area in constraining ice years (2010 and 2013). The main influence of sea ice on achieving the proposed objectives of the SRZ pertains to the deployment and subsequent recovery of tagged fish to examine movements and estimate exploitation rate within the SRZ.

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