The climate-induced changes presently seen in the ecosystems of Antarctic region require a precautionary approach with respect to the human use of these ecosystems. In particular, resource harvesting requires enough basic knowledge as well as adequate monitoring to avoid unintended impacts on the harvested stocks as well as the associated ecosystem. Due to the vastness and remoteness of the Antarctic region research vessel capacity is not readily available for conventional coverage of the harvested stocks and their ecosystems. In this paper we describe the potential of using commercial fishing vessels to bridge the gap in research vessel capacity. The various tasks and required instrumentation are presented and discussed. The realism behind the description is exemplified by a Norwegian krill fishing vessel now under construction. This type of combined fishing and research vessel capacity could make a large amount of important data available for CCAMLR analysis and thus improve the basis for resource evaluation and management.
Sarah Mackey (CCAMLR Secretariat)