At present the fishery is restricted by a trigger level of 620 000 tons that is divided between the four fishing areas 48.1-48.4. The fishery is carried out close to island shelf areas, where the krill swarm densities are high. The main idea behind the NorChiK project is that a greater understanding of krill abundance and predator overlap is necessary if the fishery and its management shall be developed.
During the CCAMLR’s Working Group on Ecosystem Monitoring and Management (WG-EMM) in July 2010, Aker Biomarine offered to make 5 days of vessel time with their krill fishing vessel Saga Sea available for research each year for the next five years. Later, Olympic with their vessel Juvel joined the agreement. The Institute of Marine Research (IMR) together with the Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute (YSFRI) in China agreed to take responsibility for the scientific data collection, and it was agreed upon in CCAMLR that a survey should be conducted annually around the South Orkneys in the CCAMLR statistical Subarea 48.2. The aim of the survey is to build up a time series of krill abundance and distribution patterns related to the topography and hydrography as well as the abundance, distribution and foraging behaviour of the principle krill predators (penguins, flying birds, seals and whales) in the area. As part of the long term plan, the data will be analysed jointly with time series data from other subareas collected by other nations. Surveys have already been carried out in the Austral summers of 2011, 2012 and 2013. The NorChiK has since 2013 been included in the KRILL project.