The CCAMLR Scientific Committee and its Working Groups are tasked with providing precautionary management advice in accordance with Article II of the Convention using the CCAMLR Decision Rules as a foundation. This includes providing management advice about the krill fishery.
WG-EMM(2019) set out an approach progressing towards assessment and management of the krill stock and its fishery. WG-EMM(2019) recognised that an approach that focussed on the data available would be appropriate, and that further complexities could be introduced once an initial framework was implemented. This approach was endorsed by the Scientific Committee and subsequently by the Commission. The work plan envisaged three strands of work which were each progressed and presented at subsequent meetings in 2020 and 2021.
WG-EMM(2020) agreed that work was most pressing for Subarea 48.1, where catches have increased to the interim catch allocation stipulated in CM 51-07. WG-ASAM(2021) developed a set of local scale (smaller than Subarea scale) acoustic biomass estimates for krill for Subarea 48.1, with a time series extending backwards to the mid-1990s. WG-SAM(2021) provided further refinement of the generalized yield model for implementation at local-scales, whilst WG-EMM(2021) considered further refinements to the risk assessment. WG-FSA(2021) brought all the work strands together for the first time.
This paper highlights the considerable progress achieved within the Working Groups since 2019. It summarises, from the working group reports, those work areas where development is considered robust, and where further work is still needed to develop a management approach that can be advised on the basis of consensus.
The Working Groups agree that the goal of providing a management framework to replace CM 51-07 is achievable, starting with Subarea 48.1 and incrementally moving to the other Subareas within Area 48. However, some consider that they have not completely understood a protocol that has, necessarily been discussed, and developed in a very short time period. It is essential that all comprehend the process clearly if agreement is to be reached in Scientific Committee. Consequently, to continue the substantial progress that has been achieved, while allowing time for the process to “sink in”, a suggestion is made for the next year of work in the Scientific Committee Working Groups – the development and evaluation of a worked example ready for discussion in Scientific Committee and Commission.