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    Proposal for an experimental crab fishery in Subarea 48.3

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    George Watters (USA)
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    An experimental management strategy is proposed for the Paralomis spinosissima fishery around South Georgia. The strategy is designed to answer specific, a priori questions about the population dynamics of P. spinosissima, and consists of three phases to be conducted over a period of two years/fishing seasons. Phase 1 occurs at the start of the first fishing season and is a "survey" regime where fishing effort is artificially distributed over a large area. After Phase 1, normal fishing operations continue until the TAC for the first fishing season is attained. Phase 2 starts at the beginning of the second fishing season and is a series of three depletion experiments conducted in local areas. After Phase 2 normal fishing operations are conducted until CCAMLR initiates closure of the second fishing season. Phase 3 commences just prior to the close of the second fishing season. In this phase, fishing effort is redirected to the three local areas depleted during Phase 2. The experimental management strategy is designed for application on a per vessel basis (i.e. vessels may not "cooperate" to complete phases -- each vessel must complete all three phases on its own). The strategy is more powerful when multiple vessels participate in the fishery, but valuable information can still be obtained if only one vessel participates.