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    Advances are urgently needed in providing regular estimates of krill stock status based on the available data

    Request Meeting Document
    Document Number:
    S. Hill, J. Hinke, N. Ratcliffe, P. Trathan and G. Watters
    Submitted By:
    Dr Simeon Hill (United Kingdom)
    Approved By:
    Dr Chris Darby (United Kingdom)

    CCAMLR currently manages the krill fishery in subareas 48.1 to 48.4 using an arbitrary measure (the trigger level) which was established in 1991 and is “not related to the status of the krill stock”. At the same time, CCAMLR recognises that “advances are urgently needed” specifically because the trigger level is not related to the status of the stock. The establishing terms of reference for WG-EMM include requests to “assess the status of krill” and “develop management advice … for management of krill fisheries”. Although WG-EMM is now a quarter century old, it rarely assesses the status of the krill stock and CCAMLR still manages the krill fishery using the trigger level. Here we describe the single-species feedback loop that is widely used in fishery management elsewhere, including in other CCAMLR fisheries. This feedback loop regularly modifies management measures, such as catch limits, in response to estimates of the status of the target stock. CCAMLR has already implemented the majority of the components of this feedback loop to establish Conservation Measures that limit krill fishing in Subareas 48.1 to 48.4. However, one component of this loop is missing, namely regular estimates of stock status based on the available data. Here, we briefly review some of the progress that CCAMLR working groups and the scientific community have made towards developing such methods. We suggest that WG-EMM should progress these methods further so that the working group is able to provide the advice requested in its establishing terms of reference. Finally, we emphasise that considerable uncertainty will be associated with any assessment of the status of the krill stock, and therefore there is a need for continuing precaution.