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Management of the krill fishery

According to CCAMLR’s basic premises, the krill fishery is to be carried out in a manner such that land-based krill predators (seals, penguins etc) would not be inadvertently, or disproportionately, affected by the fishery. 

At present the krill fishery in the CCAMLR areas 48.1-48.4 is managed according to a “trigger level” which is calculated as the sum of maximum historical catches in the four subareas 48.1-48.4. When catches reach the threshold set for a subarea, fishery is closed. The trigger level for all four subareas combined is 620,000 tons. At present the fishery is carried out in three of these areas, 48.1-48.3, close to islands where the water is relatively shallow and krill swarm densities are high. 


The total krill abundance in the four subareas was investigated based on a joint international acoustic CCAMLR survey in 2000 and first estimated to 44 million tons. An output of the AKES project was a corrected model for calculating biomass from acoustic recordings, and this contributed to the recalculation of total biomass to 60.3 mill tons by CCAMLR in 2010. Of the total biomass, a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) of 5.61 mill tons was derived. The TAC has at present no practical influence on the management regime, but CCAMLR is working towards a management system allowing for expansion of the fishery beyond the trigger level approaching the TAC. 

What is an ecosystem?

Ecosystems are often described in terms of energy transfer between levels of the food chain. Behind the energy transfer, however, a life or death struggle between predators and prey is taking place. This struggle, in which every individual tries to make the most of itself by spreading its genes, results in what we call the “interplay of nature”. This interplay is fascinating, both as a field of study and as a management problem.

More about ecosystem