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    An experimental approach for the Antarctic krill fishery: advancing management and conservation through the use of Krill Reference Areas and Krill Fishing Areas

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    Document Number:
    WS-SM-18/05
    Author(s):
    P.N Trathan and O.R. Godø
    Submitted By:
    Dr Phil Trathan (United Kingdom)
    Approved By:
    Ms Kylie Bamford (United Kingdom)
    Abstract

    We review reasons why the fishery for Antarctic krill is challenging to manage and consider ways in which management could be improved, whilst responsible and precautionary harvesting continues. We propose an experimental framework to help improve the scientific basis for management. This framework will enhance conservation, and increase ecological understanding by using an experimental approach to fishing, coupled with the use of Krill Reference Areas and Krill Fishing Areas. We use the existing Small Scale Management Units, modified to take into account biological and physical environmental characteristics, as the geographic and spatial basis for a set of differing treatments. We also consider the existing CEMP ecosystem monitoring framework across Subareas 48.1 and 48.2, noting that monitoring is mainly associated with penguin research. We identify a number of treatments based on seasonal, or year round closures, and highlight how enhanced scientific data collection, using existing methods and approaches could be used to enhance ecological understanding of possible impacts (or lack thereof) of krill fishing. We also consider how certain treatments could be used to help disentangle confounding drivers of change, including climate change. We offer this paper as a discussion document, to help further the management of the krill fishery. We welcome comments and suggestions to help improve the concepts and implementation. We also request input upon how the proposed framework could strengthen the development of other conservation measures presently under development.

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