SKAG was initiated in close collaboration with the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Standing Committee on the Antarctic Treaty System (SC-ATS) to help provide the scientific information on krill needed to manage the krill fishery by improving communication between CCAMLR and the wider krill science community. In addition, the group serves as a platform for early career reserachers (ECR) to network with established krill researchers.The first phase of SKAG (2018-2020) resulted in a paper (Meyer et al. 2020) that identified knowledge gaps in krill ecology which are important for krill fishery management. The paper also outlined the data and methods needed by the scientific community, in collaboration with the krill fishery, to fill these knowledge gaps.
The priorities which Meyer et al (2020) identified for krill research to support ecosystem-based management of the krill fishery are; (i) unravelling the controls on krill recruitment, (ii) pinpointing spawning hotspots that merit protection,(iii) identifying seasonal overlaps between the fishery and contributing spawning stock, and (iv) future-proofing fishery management for climate change.
In the second SKAG phase (2021-2023), we aim to engage the broader science community to evaluate the key research priorities and suggest ways forward. The first step in this direction was a one-week online workshop (26-30 April) organized in cooperation with the WWF. This workshop was attended by around 100 participants each day from 19 countries representing a large portion of the world’s krill expertise. The workshop was closely linked with the following workshop of the SCAR Program Integrating Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics of the Southern Ocean (ICED). For details of the ICED workshop see their report submitted to WG-EMM 2021.