The Gradual contraction of Antarctic krill fishery toward islands or concentration in some localized area has caused increased concerns. To examine the potential impact of the concentration of krill fishery, acoustic data and fishery statistics were analyzed to reveal the relationship between the actual fishing sites and the underlying krill distribution; sea ice concentration is also used to explain the movement of the krill fishery into the Bransfield Strait. The analyses demonstrated again that the krill distribution is highly patchy and dynamic; and that the contraction or concentration of the krill fishery were most likely to be a natural response of the fishery to the characteristics of Antarctic krill distribution as knowledge accumulates, and to the suitability of emerging fishing ground as sea ice concentration decreases. The analyses also showed that the krill fishery will only concentrated in areas in which there was ample krill resources, and the potential impact of the concentration of krill fishery need to be assessed against the highly patchy and dynamic nature of krill distribution, not merely by its presence. The results of the analyses further implied that when progressing the Risk Assessment Framework for allocating the Precautionary Catch Limit into smaller management units, the spatial size of the candidate management unit need to be large enough to accommodate the highly patchy and dynamic nature of krill distribution to avoid the potential to create inadvertent risks to the local krill stock or predators depending on it.
Dr Xianyong Zhao (China)
Ms Doro Forck (CCAMLR Secretariat)