Climate change is predicted to affect marine fisheries but these effects are usually thought of as being indirect, for example through distributional changes of fish populations, changes in marine biodiversity or changes in oceanic productivity. We show that in Antarctic waters there is already evidence of direct effects of the changing physical environment – the duration of sea ice cover - on the seasonal behaviour of the region’s largest fishery, that for Antarctic krill. Declining sea ice cover in the main krill fishing grounds has resulted in greater accessibility of krill stocks to the fishing fleets, particularly during winter, and this change in fishing behaviour will need careful management in an era of rapid ecological change.
(Fisheries Manag. Ecol., in press)