The South Korean Government invited CCAMLR's Scientific Observer Scheme coordinator, Eric Appleyard, to the first South Korean International Observer Conference, which took place in Busan in December 2012.
This provided an opportunity to meet Korean scientific observers to discuss ways to improve data reporting from fishing vessels operating in CCAMLR fisheries. This was particularly timely as Korean vessels were just about to start to fish for krill and toothfish in the Antarctic.
There were 80 participants, including observers, scientists, government officials and fishing industry representatives, at the conference, which focused on improving the management of observer programs and the recruitment and training of scientific observers.
The conference was followed by a special workshop on the various requirements for data collection and reporting in CCAMLR fisheries. The workshop focused on the structure and content of the data forms used in the CCAMLR Observer Scheme, which now also provide the basis for the data collection processes in the Korean observer program.
Eric also gave a demonstration of how to tag fish and how the data from tagging is being used by CCAMLR to estimate the abundance of toothfish. All workshop participants (from observers to CCAMLR Commissioners) had the opportunity to try their hand at tagging, using fish from the local market.