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    Detecting trends in the krill fishery

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    Número de documento:
    S. Nicol and J. Foster (Australia)
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    The development of the krill fishery can be monitored and predicted using a number of different sources of information. Information on current catches and scientific information on the krill stocks is of limited value in plotting trends in the fishery at its current level. Predictions by Members of their future plans are also of limited use because they ultimately depend on the underlying economics of the fishery. We have analysed predictions made by Members of their future activities and have found that they are generally less accurate than will be necessary to detect trends in the future. Economic information on the krill fishery has been difficult to access in the past but will be necessary to provide reliable predictions of future harvesting trends. Sources of such information are now available but the interpretation of economic and marketing information requires specialised skills which are not generally available in the Scientific Committee. Technological information may provide early warnings of developments that could later herald an expansion in krill fishing. Information on new products from the krill fishery, and new krill processing technology is widely available once patents have been lodged. We have examined patent databases to find information on products and processes involving krill and have found 376 recorded patents. These patents reveal some trends in the development of products using krill. Complete interpretation of technological and market data requires specialist skills which would have to be harnessed if full use is to be made of these sources of information. An expansion in krill fishing to relatively high levels may occur over a short (< 5 year) timescale and could result in an unacceptable concentration of fishing effort in small areas. This highlights the need for the development of smaller management units for the krill fishery, for the development of procedures to access information on economics and technological developments, and for better information on the potential rate of increase in krill catches.