We present preliminary analyses of krill fishery catch data covering the period December 2000 to November 2013. We show that fishing vessels in Subareas 48.2 and 48.3 are conservative in their behaviour, targeting fixed geographic locations in most years. In contrast, in Subarea 48.1, fishing locations show considerable variability between years. In Subarea 48.2 ice cover tends to increase rapidly from mid May, often extending to cover the whole core fishing area, forcing the fishery to relocate by late June. Much of the effort relocates to Subarea 48.3, where the shelf and shelf-break fishing areas are normally ice free throughout the winter. In Subarea 48.1 ice cover begins to increase earlier (often in April) but it increases more gradually and rarely covers the whole core fishing area. This often allows fishing to late June and, sometimes, throughout the winter. Overall, the mean catch location in Subarea 48.1 has shifted in recent years with most catch being taken south of the South Shetland Islands since 2008/09 in contrast to earlier years when the mean catch location was always to the north and west of the South Shetlands. We will continue to explore the relationship between catch location and ice dynamics during the inter-sessional period.
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Doug Cooper (Secrétariat de la CCAMLR)
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