Closed mostly within the Weddell Sea Subarea 48.5 is one of the closed data-poor CCAMLR Subareas. Stock assessment of this area should be calculated basing on the newest and adequate data. Despite the difficult ice conditions the Weddell Sea is the largest enclosed near-continental sea of the Antarctic which is very similar to the Ross Sea in some respects like shape, bathymetrical profile and current system. Such similarity gives hope that the Weddell Sea could become one of the most promising areas for exploratory fishery of Dissostichus sp. and disperse fishing load from the Ross Sea. However, fishery in subarea 48.5 is closed based on absent stock assessment. The main objective of the present program is collecting data for reliable stock assessment and following estimation of precautionary limits in accordance with CCAMLR decision rules. The program contains several phases and prospected for 5 years. Detailed plan of fishing operations, collecting and analysis of data will be provided for the Scientific Committee and Commission consideration.
According to the direction of the XXXIII meeting of the Scientific Committee that data-poor area in the future would need to be consistent with the original research objectives approved in 2012 (SC-CAMLR-XXXIII, par. 3.233) in this work we present the original adopted research program in the Weddell Sea (WG-FSA-12/12) with minor revisions that reflect the current situation.