Last updated on 17 August 2018

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Euphausia superba

SPECIES NAME(s)

Antarctic krill

Krill presents an extensive distribution but until now no formal stock separation, including genetics, has proven that different stocks exist. Area 48 is considered to be a single management unit (Hønneland et al., 2015a). The map shows the management unit (Area 48) limits. The spatial distribution of the fishery is mainly concentrated in the region of the Bransfield Strait off the Antarctic Peninsula (Subarea 48.1), to the northwest of Coronation Island (Subarea 48.2) and also to the north of South Georgia (Subarea 48.3). Little fishing is undertaken currently in 48.5 or 48.6.


ANALYSIS

Strengths
  • Previous research on the stock status suggested krill biomass to be in good shape and in the range of 37–208 million tonnes, i.e. well above 75% B0 (original biomass before the fishery has started).
  • There is scientific confidence that the current catch level does not affect the total krill biomass.
  • Swarm analysis has been used for krill density estimatives and this approach has been considered very useful for understanding krill seasonal cycles.
  • Catches have been below the catch trigger level and stable in the last three years.
  • The fishery is well managed (under the precautionary and ecosystem approaches) and there are many regulations in place to protect the ecosystem.
  • About 60% of this fishery is covered by an MSC certification and the process did not raise any conditions.
  • Antarctic krill have been subject of several recent studies covering distinct topics of the ecosystem.
Weaknesses
  • There is no analytical assessment since 2000. There are no reference points in place to assess the real state of the stock. A multinational investigation effort is needed to develop a synoptic survey.
  • TAC and trigger level management divided among the smaller-scale subareas (SSMUs), to avoid local depletion, are not yet in place. However, a spatial concentration of krill catches has been observed, namely in areas where krill-dependent species forage.
  • Climate-change effects on krill populations also need to be considered.
  • Competition between the fisheries occuring and protected species in some localized areas need to be evaluated to support special protection measures.
  • Catch reporting for the continuous fishing system needs to be improved.
  • The CCAMLR Convention Area is divided into nine MPA planning domains. Spatial limits for the Domain 1 MPA - Western Antarctic Peninsula/South Scotia Arc are not defined yet. 

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 8

Managers Compliance:

10

Fishers Compliance:

10

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

≥ 8

Future Health:

≥ 8


RECOMMENDATIONS

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN
  • Monitor fishery and management system for any changes that could jeopardize MSC re-certification.
  • Support efforts to manage this fishery at a finer spatial scale, as enabled by current catch reporting, to further reduce risks of local area depletion of krill.
  • Support efforts to enable an updated multi-national krill biomass survey.

FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Aker Biomarine Antarctic Krill:

    MSC Recertified

  • Rimfrost Antarctic krill:

    Suspended

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
CCAMLR Area 48 Chile Midwater trawls
China Midwater trawls
Korea, Republic of Midwater trawls
Norway Midwater trawls
Ukraine Midwater trawls
CCAMLR Area 58 China Midwater trawls

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 22 June 2018

Strengths
  • Previous research on the stock status suggested krill biomass to be in good shape and in the range of 37–208 million tonnes, i.e. well above 75% B0 (original biomass before the fishery has started).
  • There is scientific confidence that the current catch level does not affect the total krill biomass.
  • Swarm analysis has been used for krill density estimatives and this approach has been considered very useful for understanding krill seasonal cycles.
  • Catches have been below the catch trigger level and stable in the last three years.
  • The fishery is well managed (under the precautionary and ecosystem approaches) and there are many regulations in place to protect the ecosystem.
  • About 60% of this fishery is covered by an MSC certification and the process did not raise any conditions.
  • Antarctic krill have been subject of several recent studies covering distinct topics of the ecosystem.
Weaknesses
  • There is no analytical assessment since 2000. There are no reference points in place to assess the real state of the stock. A multinational investigation effort is needed to develop a synoptic survey.
  • TAC and trigger level management divided among the smaller-scale subareas (SSMUs), to avoid local depletion, are not yet in place. However, a spatial concentration of krill catches has been observed, namely in areas where krill-dependent species forage.
  • Climate-change effects on krill populations also need to be considered.
  • Competition between the fisheries occuring and protected species in some localized areas need to be evaluated to support special protection measures.
  • Catch reporting for the continuous fishing system needs to be improved.
  • The CCAMLR Convention Area is divided into nine MPA planning domains. Spatial limits for the Domain 1 MPA - Western Antarctic Peninsula/South Scotia Arc are not defined yet. 
RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 13 September 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Monitor fishery and management system for any changes that could jeopardize MSC re-certification.
  • Support efforts to manage this fishery at a finer spatial scale, as enabled by current catch reporting, to further reduce risks of local area depletion of krill.
  • Support efforts to enable an updated multi-national krill biomass survey.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 22 June 2018

The last reported synoptic survey of Antarctic krill was conducted in 2000 (Hønneland et al. 2015a); since then there has been no annual or updated stock assessment of krill available. However, a new synoptic krill survey for 2018/19 has been planned due the long gap (18 years) since the last synoptic survey and the environmental conditions have been changing since early 2000’s  (e.g. climate change, ice-coverage) (SC-CAMLR-XXXVI 2017).

The Scientific Committee for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) sets a precautionary catch limit based on the potential yield of the stock as determined from the synoptic survey carried out in 2000, to evaluate the stock condition. The initial limit to yield is determined on the basis of estimated potential yield, based on a Generalized Yield Model. This model uses standard population model equations, but allows the population dynamics to represent particular stocks by setting appropriate parameter values for growth, natural mortality and recruitment. The initial estimate of krill standing stock (B0) was calculated as 44.29 million tonnes, but a range of values have been estimated, highlighting the uncertainty around this value (SC-CAMLR-XXIX, 2010). Commercial catch per unit effort (cpue) data is not considered appropriate as index of abundance (Hønneland et al. 2015a). Large-scale surveys provide information to understanding of variability and trends at subarea-scales and possible impacts of climate change (SC-CAMLR-XXXIV 2015).

However, there have been some new analysis and interpretations of the previous assessment (SC-CAMLR-XXXIII 2014; Kinzey et al., 2015). A recent approach developed an integrated stock assessment model for krill that combines an age-structured cohort model with survey observations (WG-SAM-14/20). However, some more spatial restricted surveys are undertaken annually by the UK , USA and most recently by Norway providing interannual variability information on the status of the ecosystem (Watkins et al., 2015). An important acoustic survey for krill biomass was conducted around the Balleny Islands during the 2015 austral summer (SC-CAMLR-XXXIV 2015). In 2016, a new model was fitted based on time series of survey biomass indices and length-composition data from research surveys and on catches and length compositions from the krill fishery. However, this model was considered as not able to provide management advice (WG-SAM-16/37). Reanalyses of the krill biomass index in Area 48 based on KrillBase data and local acoustic surveys, show no evidence of a systematic change in krill biomass since 2000 (SC-CAMLR-XXXIV 2015; Hill et al. 2016).

The spatial/temporal accuracy of the catch reporting for the continuous fishing system (based on 2 hours of haul duration) needs to be improved as required by the Conservation Measure (CM) 21-03 but Norway has been working to solve this issue (SC-CAMLR-XXXVI 2017).

Acoustic data from fishing vessels is collected to provide qualitative and quantitative information on the distribution and relative abundance of Antarctic krill and other pelagic species (Watkins et al. 2016). Recently, swarm analysis has been used for krill density estimation from data collected by fishing vessels along transects, as well as during fishing operations. This approach has been considered very useful in understanding seasonal cycles in krill habitat use and might be useful for management (SC-CAMLR-XXXVI 2017). However the accuracy of the catch reporting for the continuous systems needs to be solved before this approach can be applied (WG-EMM-17 2017).

Catches represent a minimal part (0.4%) of the total krill consumption by predators. CCAMLR monitors krill predator populations, makes catch reports and supports periodic fisheries-independent surveys of local biomass. However, these variables were not tested yet to assess if they will be sufficient to detect the impacts of fishing (Hønneland et al. 2015a). The Working Group suggested that age- or length-specific natural mortality may be explored as well as include environmental correlates with biomass in the model to allow future projections of biomass.

The Working Group commended to recording krill carapace lengths during measurement of krill and to extend by-catch monitoring (e.g. invertebrates) (WG-EMM-17 2017).

A new risk assessment framework has been developed and annual updates should be made to provide advice on the spatial distribution of the trigger level (CCAMLR-XXXV 2016). Since then, the krill fishing re-started in the divisions 58.4.1 and 58.4.2 in the fishing season 2016/2017, Australia developed a preliminary risk assessment for this region (SC-CAMLR-XXXVI 2017) but more recent layers of information are needed (WG-EMM-17 2017).

Fishing in Subarea 48.1 had been primarily in the summer, but for the past few seasons fishing in this area had been occurring throughout the austral summer and winter. Also, the fishery was regularly operating in areas in the southern part of Subarea 48.1 where no regular krill surveys are conducted (WG-EMM-16 2016).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 22 June 2018

The Scientific Committee advises the Commission with the best available scientific information on harvesting levels and other management issues. In turn, the Convention established the Commission to take full account of the recommendations and advice of the Scientific Committee (Hønneland et al. 2015a).

There are no biologic and fishing reference points in place. In 2010, CCCAMLR agreed that the best estimate of krill standing stock (B0) was calculated at 60.3 million tonnes. Based in the krill stock assessment model, CCAMLR (Conservation measure CM 51-01) agreed that the current precautionary catch limit (PCL) for krill is 5.61 million tonnes per season (December 1st to November 30th of the following year) in Subareas 48.1, 48.2, 48.3 and 48.4 combined (Krill Fishery Report 2016). However, until the Commission decides to allocate this total catch limit between small-scale management unit (SSMU), the total combined catch is limited to 620,000 tonnes (trigger level).  This trigger level is not related to the status of the krill stock (Conservation measure 51-07, 2014). However, the catch trigger level is well below the precautionary catch limit, which acts as an effective risk-limit reference point (Hønneland et al., 2015a). The trigger level (CM 51-01) was based on the highest aggregated catch of the historical time series (SC-CAMLR-XXXIV 2015) and corresponds to less than 2% of krill biomass estimated in any year between 2000 and 2011 (SC-CAMLR-XXXIV 2015).

Krill biomass is not homogeneously distributed within the subareas (Krafft et al. 2015), and the fishery has become concentrated in some SSMUs in recent years (WG-EMM-15 2015). The Scientific Committee agreed that the spatial distribution of the trigger level should be continued to avoid further harvesting concentration and that it does not impact adversely on predators. However, there are some concerns on SSMU-scale since results from surveys demonstrated a huge variability and fishing activity has become more concentrated into some SSMUs (SC-CAMLR-XXXIV 2015).

The harvest control rule for krill in Area 48 is a precautionary catch limit that has the objective to constrain exploitation to a safe level (Hønneland et al. 2015a). However, absolute estimates of krill biomass in the whole Area 48 are unlikely to be available on a regular basis, and management approaches will need to take this into account (SC-CAMLR-XXXIV 2015).  

In 2014, the Scientific Committee agreed to develop a feedback management (FBM) approach to the krill fishery (CCAMLR-XXXIII, 2014) to improve understanding of potential impacts of fisheries and predators on krill stocks. Since surveys occur in a limited period of the year, the potential to use fishing vessels to provide key information on the distribution and abundance of Antarctic krill is being considered. The Scientific Committee settled that krill consumption by baleen whales and the collection of appropriate acoustic information from fishing vessels should be included in the development of an effective FBM regime (SC-CAMLR-XXXV 2016). The Subgroup on Acoustic Survey and Analysis Methods (SG-ASAM) is in charge to develop advice on how to best collect and evaluate fishing-vessel-based acoustic data on krill and other pelagic species, contributing in this way to the development of the FBM approach (Watkins et al., 2015; CAMLR-XXXIV 2015). The Scientific Committee also agreed that the data on krill catches by month and SSMU should be included in the Statistical Bulletin (SC-CAMLR-XXXV 2016). A coordinated effort is as well suggested between members to move on with experimental work needed for the development of an FBM approach and the engagement of the fishery sector is crucial (SC-CAMLR-XXXVI 2017).

A new risk assessment framework, based on the best scientific information available, has been developed and annual updates should be made to provide advice on the spatial distribution of the trigger level (SC-CAMLR-XXXV 2016). Recently, a spatial concentration of krill catches has been observed, including in summer months and in near-shore areas where krill-dependent species forage. Based on the results of the risk assessment, the Scientific Committee agreed that the risks of localised effects of fishing were increasing, supporting the continuation of the CM 51-07 for a minimum period of three years. The Working Group agreed that a revision of CM 51-07 should consider how catch limits could be spatially and temporally apportioned within subareas to avoid negative impacts on predator populations at smaller spatial scales, particularly in Subarea 48.1 (WG-EMM-16 2016). Additionally, the implementation of coastal buffer zones can also be considered (SC-CAMLR-XXXV 2016)

There are in place several programmes to collect appropriate data for the effective management of the Southern Ocean, including fisheries monitoring, scientific observers on fishing vessels and ecosystem monitoring (Hønneland et al. 2015b). Kinzey et al. (2013) concluded that better information is required about krill recruitment variability and natural mortality before increasing catches much beyond the trigger level (WG-EMM-15 2015).

During the last meeting (October 2017), the Scientific Committee discussed several topics, namely, a preliminary risk assessment for the krill fishery in East Antarctica, the adoption of a ‘swarm-based’ approach to acoustic biomass estimation from fishing vessel data, experimental approaches to krill fishing, additional approaches to FBM and future plans for a multinational synoptic krill survey (SC-CAMLR-XXXVI 2017).

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 22 June 2018

There is no recent stock assessment, thus there is some degree of uncertainty around the current status of the stock. Previous research (in 2006) on the stock status suggested krill biomass to be in good shape and in the range of 37–208 million tonnes, i.e., well above 75% B0 (original biomass before the fishery has started) (Hønneland et al. 2015a). Reanalyses of the krill biomass index in Area 48 based on KrillBase data and local acoustic surveys (2015) showed no evidence of a systematic change in krill biomass since 2000 (SC-CAMLR-XXXIV 2015). 

The fishery is operating at catch levels well below what would generally be regarded as a precautionary upper level relative to the best estimates available of stock size (i.e. a precautionary catch limit or PCL). For the fishing season 2016/2017, catches decreased about 9% in relation to the previous season but the catches have been stable in the last three years (around 240 thousand tonnes). Catch is currently at about 38% of the trigger level and 4.2% of the precautionary catch limit; catches are currently less than 0.5% of biomass estimate from the CCAMLR-2000 Survey. 

The management measures and controls in place give a good confidence that current catch levels will not affect the total krill biomass adversely even if adverse ecosystem and oceanographic/climate conditions occurs (Hønneland et al. 2015). However, there are indications of an increasing risk of localised effects of fishing (SC-CAMLR_XXXV 2016) which some additional measures should be considered.

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 22 June 2018

The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is a decision-making body, established by an international convention in 1982, with the objective of conserving Antarctic marine life. Organization’s main tasks are: to coordinate scientific research and observer programmes, to establish TAC and to distribute quotas between subareas. The fishery is managed mainly by CCAMLR, interacting with the Norwegian Ministry/Directorate of Fisheries and the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) (Hønneland et al. 2015a).

The fishery is managed under precautionary and ecosystem approaches (Hønneland et al., 2015a). Absolute estimates of krill and predators' biomasses for the whole area are unlikely to be available on a regular basis since a synoptic survey is very expensive and there has been lack on consensus between the Members states which should be taking into consideration in developing approaches to the management of the krill fishery (CCAMLR-XXXIII 2014). 

To avoid localized depletion and to protect local food for predators, an overall TAC is set and trigger catches' levels are divided among smaller-scale subareas (SSMUs). However, TAC and trigger level management are still not in place for these SSMUs (Hønneland et al. 2016). According to the Conservation Measure 51-07 (2014), an interim distribution of the trigger level was proposed as: Subarea 48.1= 155,000 tonnes (25%); Subarea 48.2=279,000 tonnes(45%); Subarea 48.3 =279,000 tonnes (45%) and Subarea 48.4 =93,000 tonnes (15%). These percentages sum more than 100%, though it would be unlikely for more than one to be reached at a time (Hønneland et al. 2015a). There are also catch limits for krill in Divisions 58.4.1 (440,000 tonnes) and 58.4.2 (452,000 tonnes) but there is no commercial krill fishing in these two divisions for more than 20 years. However, in 2017 one vessel (China) caught small quantities of krill in these areas (CCAMLR 2017).

A Feedback Management (FBM) system based on a stage approach has been discussed at the Working Group level for each subarea and SSMU (WG-EMM-15, 2015). The new risk assessment framework improves the implementation of stage 1 and could assist in progressing FBM from stage 1 to stage 2 (SC-CCAMLR-XXXV 2016).  In 2016, the Commission revised and extented CM 51-07 for more 3 years (until 2019) but progress towards FBM should be included in this measure (CCAMLR-XXXV 2016).

Fishing season begins in December 1st and finishes in November 30th of the following year. The use of marine mammal exclusion devices on trawls is mandatory (Conservation measure 51-01, 2010). Each country participating in this fishery should require to CCAMLR annual notifications of vessels and their potential catches, gear and fishing area (Conservation measure 21-03, 2014). However, this process needs to be improved since there are considerable differences among notification values and effective catches (Hønneland et al., 2015a). 

A proposal for the spatial management of the Marine Protected Area of Domain 1 (D1MPA) - Western Antarctic Peninsula/South Scotia Arc was presented at the Working Group meeting but discussions are still underway (WG-EMM-17 2017)

This fishery has been subject of debate between opposing opinions on their management. A recent study of Cavanagh et al., (2016) presents different stakeholders' perspectives on ecosystem-based management of the Antarctic krill fishery.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 22 June 2018

The Standing Committee on Implementation and Compliance is the entity responsible for providing information, advice and recommendations on fishery monitoring and compliance.

There is a dual reporting system which requires monthly reporting of catches and fishing effort while the total catch is less than 50–80% of the trigger level, and five-day reporting when catches exceed 50–80% (Conservation Measure 23-06). This system has been working successfully in the last years; however, there are some concerns that the dual reporting system may not provide timely information on catches and fishing effort while monthly reporting applies (CCAMLR-XXXIII 2014). The Commission highlighted the current inability of continuous fishing system vessels to record krill catches accurately at the time intervals required by CMs 21-03 and 23-06, and noted that there is a mismatch between where catches were taken and where it was reported (CCAMLR-XXXVI 2017).

For 2017/18 fishing season, five countries (Chile, China, Korea, Norway, and Ukraine) proposed fishing krill in Area 48 (48.1–48.4) and Area 58 (58.4.1 and 58.4.2.) with a total of 13 vessels (CCAMLR-XXXVI 2017). Little fishing is undertaken currently in 48.5 or 48.6. The total catch for 2016/2017 was at 237 thousand tonnes, well below the total trigger level. Most of this catch was taken from Subarea 48.1 (63%), which reached its allocated trigger level (155,000 tonnes) at July 10th, later than last year (May 28th, 2016). The fishing season in 2016/2017 also started later in the Subarea 48.1 than the usual. Approximately 69 thousand tonnes were taken from Subarea 48.2 and 18 thousand tonnes from Subarea 48.3. Catches in Subareas 48.2 and 48.3 were 25% and 7% of the respective catch limits. Comparing with the previous fishing season, catches increased in subarea 48.2 and decreased in subarea 48.3 (CCAMLR-XXXVI 2017)

In the past decade ( 2005–2014), 41% of total catches has been taken by Norway, 21% by Korea and 11% by Japan (CCAMLR, 2016).

About 60% of reported catches are from a certified fishery (MSC) without conditions (Hønneland et al. 2016). Compliance is relatively good in this fishery with vessels' movements monitored through a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). The client vessels use a trawl system with a fine mesh that prevents anything larger than krill from entering the system, and is monitored by underwater cameras. Vessels are licensed on an annual basis and report catches from each haul through their electronic logbooks. The observed coverage is 100% for this certified fishery (Hønneland et al. 2015a,b). Another fishery is in Full Assessment for MSC certification.

However, this is not happening in all fleets and in 2016, the Commission approved a gradual increase in observer coverage for the krill fishery to achieve 100% observer coverage by 2020/21 (CAMLR-XXXV 2016). Krill fishery remains the only fishery within the CAMLR Convention Area that does not require 100% scientific observer coverage (WG-EMM-15 2015). According to the Working Group, the current level of observer coverage needs to be re-analysed to check adequacy. Data from the Krill Fishery Report (CCAMLR 2017) indicated an increase in the coverage of the fishing days (defined as the number of days when an observer was on a krill fishing vessel as a percentage of the days fished) with some subareas reaching 100% of coverage. Also, the type of  data collected by the observer has been increasing. 

Transhipments within the Convention Area need to be notified (Conservation Measure 10-09, 2011). However, Greenpeace claims tighter regulations to avoid transshipments since those may cause seabed damages due to anchoring of the vessels (Greenpeace 2017).

In 2014, Conservation Measure CM 51-06 was implemented for general measures including scientific observation in fisheries of Euphausia superba to improve the observer programme coverage and a new Conservation measure CM 51-04 was implemented in 2015 for exploratory fisheries of Euphausia superba in the Convention Area in the 2015/16 season (CAMLR-XXXIV Amended 2015). Conservation Measure CM 51-04 2017 (CCAMLR 2017) was introduced in the fishing season 2017/2018 on exploratory krill fisheries. The Contracting Parties intending to conduct exploratory krill fisheries shall choose one of the following Research and Data Collection Plans: predator monitoring, a research survey conducted from a scientific vessel, acoustic transects by fishing vessels, or research trawls by fishing vessels.

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 29 March 2017

The operation of this fishery shall be carried out in accordance with CCAMLR Conservation Measure 25-03 that covers the issue of minimizing incidental mortality of seabirds and marine mammals in the course of trawling in the Convention Area, and it requires the fisheries to develop gear configurations that reduce the chance of birds or marine mammals encountering the net. The use of marine mammal exclusion devices on trawls is mandatory (Conservation measure 51-01, 2010) to prevent marine mammal entanglements, particularly by seals (Hønneland et al. 2015).

The South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands have identified the following CITES species in their waters: Arctocephalus gazelle (Antarctic fur seal), Australophocoena dioptrica (spectacled porpoise), Balaenoptera bonaerensis (Antarctic minke whale), Balaenoptera borealis (sei whale), Balaenoptera musculus (blue whale), Balaenoptera physalis (fin whale), Cephalorhynchus commersonii (piebald dolphin), Eubalaena australis (southern right whale), Hyperodon planifrons (southern bottlenose whale), Megaptera novaeangliae ((humpback whale), Mirounga leonine (elephant seal), Phocoena dioptrica (spectacled porpoise) and Physeter macrocephalus (sperm whale).

Interactions with birds, penguins or marine mammals (and other bycatch species) are recorded by scientific observers on board the vessels (Hønneland et al. 2015). In 2014, it was proposed to use remote cameras for penguin population monitoring in Subarea 48.1 (CCAMLR-XXXIII 2014).  In the krill fishery were reported three mortalities of Antarctic fur seals in both 2015 and 2016 and a total of nine seabird mortalities were reported in 2016 (CCLARM, 2016).

Specifically for the MSC certified fisheries, the vessels are using a mesh excluder screen at the opening of the net and the contact with larger mammals and birds is low, and seal and seabird bycatch is negligible. Interactions with ETP species are recorded by scientific observers on board the fishing vessels. But the observers report that most of these species did not interact at all with the vessel or the fishing gear (Hønneland et al. 2015a,b).

Regarding indirect effects, analysis showed a high degree of overlap of year-round fishing operations and the summer foraging ranges of the species (Hønneland et al., 2015a). Overlap occurred on small spatiotemporal scales at depths where mean krill densities were relatively high (Hinke et al. 2017). Competition between macaroni penguins and the krill fishery is considered low under current management (Ratcliff et al. 2015). However, the Working Group noted that some areas may already be affected at current fishing levels, e.g. Bransfield Strait which the creation of precautionary no-take buffer zones around predator colonies or foraging areas would help provide safeguards for predator needs (SC-CAMLR-XXXIII 2014 ; WG-EMM-15 2015). The competition between Antarctic petrels and krill fisheries is also currently considered negligible but if krill fisheries increase in the future, competition with the Antarctic petrel may occur, even with birds breeding thousands of kilometers away (Descamps et al. 2016).

Regarding the use of net monitoring cables, the Commission approved the use of  an one-season trial and that the results of these trials should be reported to the Scientific Committee to further evaluate the safety of the use of this cable (CC-CLARM-XXXV 2016).

Other Species

According to the Working Group, data available 2014/15 revealed discrepancies between the amounts of bycatch reported in the observer and fishery data which the WG highlighted the need to improve the quantity and quality of the fish bycatch sampling as well as observer training in fish identification (WG-EMM-15 2015). Recent information on the fish bycatch in the krill fishery indicated that the most frequently reported taxa are: painted rockcod (Lepidonotothen larseni) and spiny icefish (Chaenodraco wilsoni). The estimated total annual mass of fish bycatch in a 300,000 tonnes krill fishery would be 370 tonnes, comprising 40% mackerel icefish (Champsocephalus gunnari) and 30% L. larseni (CCAMLR 2016).

Bycatch in the certified krill fishery generally is considered low or almost absent and the fishery has in place effective bycatch mitigation measures. The gear and the fishing strategy is considered highly selective. In the MSC certification report is indicated a value of bycatch  less than 0.5 of the total catch (Payne and Bekkevold 2016).

The mortality of krill which escape trawl nets is relatively small (Krafft and Krag 2015). The Conservation Measure 33-01 defines some bycatch rates for the subarea 48.3.

HABITAT

Last updated on 29 March 2017

Fishing vessels operate in pelagic waters with a pelagic net, thus no interactions with seabed or benthic habitats are expected (Hønneland et al. 2015a). A complete list of the Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems is compiled by the CCAMLR.

Climate change impacts should be included in the management strategy for the krill fishery since those are expected to impact krill stocks (CCAMLR-XXXIII 2014). Future global warming may affect the susceptibility of krill to infection by disease agents which require specific temperatures for survival (SC-CAMLR-XXXIV 2015). Recent studies in the Antarctic Peninsula region have shown that krill biomass is highly concentrated in Bransfield Strait during winter, an area that is becoming ice-free more frequently, increasing krill availability to autumn and winter fisheries. These environmental changes should be taking into account by the Commission for advice on the future spatial distribution of the fishery (SC-CAMLR-XXXIV 2015). Climate change research related with krill population dynamics have been emerging as key areas of interest (SC-CAMLR-XXXV 2016)

Antarctic krill is a major prey species for several predators (e.g. pack-ice seals, fur seals, penguins, and flying seabirds) (SC-CAMLR-XXXV, 2016). An updated estimate of krill consumption by the main vertebrate groups is 55 million tonnes per year. However, the consumption of other groups like fish, cephalopods and carnivorous zooplankton remains poorly understood (Trathan and Hill 2016).

Additionally, removals by the fishery have been estimated to be orders of magnitude below the demand by predators. Catch represents less than 1% of the total krill consumption by predators. Hønneland et al. (2015a) identified the need for ongoing research into predator–prey linkages in ecosystem modelling and adequate monitoring and management within krill fisheries.

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 29 Mar 2017

The CAMLR Convention Area is divided into nine MPA planning domains. The 48.1 and 48.2 sub-areas are included in the MPA Planning Domain 1 - Western Antarctic Peninsula/South Scotia Arc.  The subareas 48.3 and 48.4 are included in the  Domain 2 - MPA North Scotia Arc (WG-EMM-16 2016).

In order to protect predators and their foraging areas, the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands have established a no-take zone around the islands, consisting of a seasonal closure for the krill fishery from 1 November to 31 March, between the 700 and 2500 m of depth. In 2009, a Marine Protected Area in Subarea 48.2, to protect the South Orkney Islands southern shelf, was established by CCAMLR Conservation Measure 91-0.

Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASPAs) and Antarctic Specially Managed Areas (ASMAs) are designated areas of special scientific or biological significance (Conservation Measure 91-02, 2012). The management plans for all these areas can be found on the Antarctic Protected Areas database on the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat (ATS). In the Area 48 are designated 7 ASPA and 3 ASMA, all in the Subarea 48.1:

ASPA 144, Chile Bay, Greenwich Island, South Shetland Islands
ASPA 145, Port Foster, Deception Island, South Shetland Islands
ASPA 146, South Bay, Doumer Island, Palmer Archipelago
ASPA 152, Western Bransfield Strait, South Shetland Islands
ASPA 153, Eastern Dallmann Bay, Palmer Archipelago
ASPA 149, Cape Shirreff, South Shetland Islands
ASPA 151, Lions Rump, South Shetland Islands
ASMA 1, Admiralty Bay, South Shetland Islands
ASMA 3, Deception Island, South Shetland Islands
ASMA 7, Southwest Anvers Island, Palmer Archipelago

In addition, there also in place 9 Benthic Closed Areas: West Shag, West Gully, The Northern benthic closed area, The Eastern benthic closed area, Southern Seamounts, North Georgia Rise, North East Georgia Rise, Protector Shoals and Kemp Seamount and Calderas. The South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Government has also declared several Benthic Closed Areas in order to protect its benthic biodiversity (Hønneland et al. 2015b).

The study developed by Douglass et al. (2014) presents additional information on MPA in the Southern Ocean. Other possible MPAs have been proposed by the state members but there is still no consensus for their implementation (CAMLR-XXXIV 2015).

FishSource Scores

Last updated on 22 June 2018

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2016 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

The harvest control rule for krill in Area 48 is a precautionary catch limit that has the objective of constraining exploitation to a safe level (Honneland, 2015a). Although there is no analytical assessment since 2000, the trigger catch level set corresponds to 11% of the estimated potential yield (catch limit). Catches have been well below this trigger level and there are several management measures in place. TAC and trigger level management divided among the smaller-scale subareas (SSMUs), to avoid local depletion, are not yet in place.

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the Set TAC as a percentage of the Advised TAC.

The Set TAC is 620 ('000 t). The Advised TAC is 620 ('000 t) .

The underlying Set TAC/Advised TAC for this index is 100%.

As calculated for 2017 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the Catch as a percentage of the Set TAC.

The Catch is 237 ('000 t). The Set TAC is 620 ('000 t) .

The underlying Catch/Set TAC for this index is 38.3%.

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

There is some uncertainity about the current status of the stock but there is scientific confidence that the current catch level does not affect the total krill biomass (catches are currently less than 0.5% of biomass estimate from the CCAMLR-2000 Survey). The fishery is operating at catch levels well below what would generally be regarded as a precautionary upper level relative to the best estimates available of stock size (i.e. a precautionary catch limit or PCL). Reanalyses of the krill biomass index in Area 48 show no evidence of a systematic change in krill biomass since 2000 (SC-CAMLR-XXXIV, 2015). However, there are indications of an increasing risk of localised effects of fishing (SC-CAMLR_XXXV 2016) which some additional measures should be considered.

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

Catch represents less than 1% of the total krill consumption by predators. The management measures and controls in place give a good confidence that current catch levels will not affect the total krill biomass adversely even under unfavourable ecosystem and oceanographic/climate conditions (Hønneland et al., 2015a). Catches increased in the last 4 years but were still lower than in the period from 1985 to 1993. However, there is a long gap (18 years) since the last synoptic survey and the environmental conditions have been changing (e.g. climate change, ice-coverage) and potential implications in krill abundance should be assessed (SC-CAMLR-XXXVI 2017)

No data available for biomass
No data available for biomass
To see data for catch and tac, please view this site on a desktop.
No data available for fishing mortality
No data available for fishing mortality
No data available for recruitment
No data available for recruitment
To see data for management quality, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for stock status, please view this site on a desktop.
DATA NOTES
  1. There is no analytical assessment since 2000. There are no reference points for this stock neither recent biomass estimates. Thus scores about the Management strategy and Stock health (current and future health) were qualitatively determined.
  2. A single institution is responsible for both scientific advice and management of the stock (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources – CCAMLR). The Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources requires the Commission to take full account of the recommendations and advice of the Scientific Committee. The Scientific Committee agreed a trigger level of 620,000 tonnes, which has been applied by the Commission (Conservation Measure 51-01, 2010).
  3. Considering the different sub-areas where the fishery occurs (48.1, 48.2, 48.3 and 48.4) catches shall be limited to 5.61 million tonnes. However, until the Commission decides to allocate this total catch limit between smaller management units, the total combined catch is limited to 620,000 tonnes (Conservation Measure 51-01, 2010).
  4. ​The total catch for 2016/2017 was at 237 thousand tonnes (up to September 2017), well below the total trigger level. Most of this catch (63%) was taken from Subarea 48.1 (CCAMLR-XXXVI 2017).

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

SELECT MSC

NAME

Aker Biomarine Antarctic Krill

STATUS

MSC Recertified on 15 June 2010

SCORES

Principle Level Scores:

Principle Score
Principle 1 – Target Species 90.0
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 93.0
Principle 3 – Management System 93.1

Certification Type: Platinum

Sources

Credits
  1. CAMLR-XXXIV Amended, 2015. Schedule of Conservation Measures in Force 2015/16 Season.https://www.ccamlr.org/en/system/files/e-schedule2015-16_1.pdf
  2. Cavanagh, R.D., Hill, S.L., Knowland, C.A., Grant, S.M. , 2016. Stakeholder perspectives on ecosystem-based management of the Antarctic krill fishery. Marine Policy 68: 205–211 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2016.03.006
  3. CCAMLR, 2016. Krill Fishery Report 2016. 34pp https://www.ccamlr.org/en/document/publications/krill-fishery-report-2016
  4. CCAMLR-XXXIII, 2014. Commission for the Conservation of the Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Report of The thirty-third Meeting of the Commission. Hobart, Australia 20–31 OCTOBER 2014, 261pp https://www.ccamlr.org/en/ccamlr-xxxiii
  5. CCAMLR-XXXIV, 2015. Commission for the Conservation of the Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Report of the thirty-fourth Meeting of the Commission. Hobart, Australia.19-30 October 2015. 209pp. https://www.ccamlr.org/en/system/files/e-cc-xxxiv_4.pdf
  6. CCAMLR-XXXV, 2016. Commission for the Conservation of the Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Report of the thirty-fifth Meeting of the Commission. Hobart, Australia.17-28 October 2016. 221pp https://www.ccamlr.org/en/system/files/e-cc-xxxv_2.pdf
  7. Conservation Measure 21-03, 2014. Notifications of intent to participate in a fishery for Euphausia superba. https://www.ccamlr.org/en/measure-21-03-2014
  8. Conservation Measure 25-03, 2011. Minimisation of the Incidental Mortality of Seabirds and Marine Mammals in the Course of Trawl Fishing in the Convention Area. https://www.ccamlr.org/en/measure-25-03-2011
  9. Conservation Measure 51-01, 2010. Precautionary catch limitations on Euphausia superba in Statistical Subareas 48.1, 48.2, 48.3 and 48.4. https://www.ccamlr.org/en/measure-51-01-2010
  10. Conservation Measure 51-07, 2014. Interim distribution of the trigger level in the fishery for Euphausia superba in Statistical Subareas 48.1, 48.2, 48.3 and 48.4https://www.ccamlr.org/en/measure-51-07-2014
  11. Conservation Measure 91-01, 2004. Procedure for According Protection to CEMP Sites.https://www.ccamlr.org/en/measure-91-01-2004
  12. Douglass L.L., Turner J., Grantham H.S., Kaiser S., Constable A., et al. (2014) A Hierarchical Classification of Benthic Biodiversity and Assessment of Protected Areas in the Southern Ocean. PLoS ONE 9(7): e100551. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100551http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0100551
  13. Hønneland, G., Payne, A.I.L., Revenga, L.,, Bekkevold, S. 2015b. Olympic Seafood Antarctic Krill Fishery - Public Certification Report. Food Certification International Ltd, August 2015. 195pphttps://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/certified/southern-ocean/rimfrost-antarctic-krill/assessment-downloads-1/20150820_PCR_KRI481.pdf
  14. Hønneland, G., Revenga, L., Payne, A.I.L., 2015a. Aker Biomarine Antarctic Krill Fishery - Public Certification Report. Food Certification International Ltd, January 2015. 167pphttp://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/certified/southern-ocean/aker-biomarine-antarctic-krill/reassessment-downloads-folder/20150116_PCR_v2_KRI001.pdf
  15. Hønneland, G., Revenga, L. and A. Payne, 2016. Review of Information - Report for Aker Biomarine Antarctic Krill Fishery.  1st Surveillance Audit July 2016 15pp https://fisheries.msc.org/en/fisheries/aker-biomarine-antarctic-krill/@@assessments
  16. Kinzey, D., Watters, G.M., Reiss, C.R., 2015. Selectivity and two biomass measures in an age-based assessment of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), Fisheries Research 168: 72-84 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2015.03.023
  17. Krafft, B.A., Krag, L.A., 2015. Assessment of mortality of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) escaping from a trawl. Fisheries Research 170: 102–105 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2015.05.019
  18. Krafft, B.A., Skaret, G., Knutsen, T., 2015. An Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) hotspot: population characteristics, abundance and vertical structure explored from a krill fishing vessel. Polar Biology 38(10): 1687-1700 http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00300-015-1735-7
  19. Ratcliffe, N., Hill, S. L., Staniland, I. J., Brown, R., Adlard, S., Horswill, C. and Trathan, P. N., 2015. Do krill fisheries compete with macaroni penguins? Spatial overlap in prey consumption and catches during winter. Diversity Distrib., 21: 1339–1348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12366
  20. SC-CAMLR-XXXIII, 2014. Scientific Committee for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.Report of the Thirty-third meeting of the Scientific Committee Preliminary version. Hobart, Australia, 20 to 24 October 2014 https://www.ccamlr.org/en/system/files/e-sc-xxxiii-end-of-meeting.pdf
  21. SC-CAMLR-XXXIV, 2015. Scientific Committee for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.Report of the Thirty-fourth meeting of the Scientific Committee Preliminary version. Hobart, Australia, 19 to 23 October 2015. 134pp https://www.ccamlr.org/en/system/files/e-sc-34-report-v2.pdf
  22. SC-CAMLR-XXXV, 2016. Scientific Committee for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.Report of the Thirty-fifthymeeting of the Scientific Committee Preliminary version. Hobart, Australia, 17 to 21 October 2016. 149 https://www.ccamlr.org/en/sc-camlr-xxxv
  23. Watkins, J.L., Reid, K.., Ramm, D., Zhao, X.Y., Cox, Skaret, G., Fielding, S., Wang, X.L., Niklitschek, E. , 2015. The use of fishing vessels to provide acoustic data on the distribution and abundance of Antarctic krill and other pelagic species. Fish. Res. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2015.07.013
  24. WG-EMM-15, 2015. Report of the Working Group on Ecosystem Monitoring and Management .Warsaw, Poland, 6 to 17 July 2015. WG-EMM-15 Report – Preliminary version. https://www.ccamlr.org/en/system/files/e-emm-15-v1.pdf
  25. WG-EMM-16 ,2016. Report of the Working Group on Ecosystem Monitoring and Management (Bologna, Italy, 4 to 15 July 2016). https://www.ccamlr.org/en/system/files/e-wg-emm-16-v2.pdf
  26. WG-SAM-14/20. Report of the Working Group on Statistics, Assessments and Modelling. SC-CAMLR-XXXIII/05.29 August 2014, 39pphttps://www.ccamlr.org/en/sc-camlr-xxxiii
References

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    Antarctic krill - Atlantic Southern Ocean, CCAMLR Area 48, Norway, Midwater trawls

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