The Subgroup on Acoustic Survey and Analysis Methods (SG-ASAM) held its annual meeting in early May 2018 in Punta Arenas (Chile). The meeting was chaired by Dr Xianyong Zhao (China).
The Subgroup considered papers and presentations outlining various methods for using krill fishing vessels to conduct acoustic surveys for Antarctic krill. Much of the progress made since last year involved the use of a swarm-based approach to identifying krill which reduces processing time and provides useful biological information on the number and size of krill swarms in the area in which the krill fishery operates. The Subgroup also discussed proposals for large-scale krill surveys in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean sectors of the Southern Ocean. It discussed the detailed methods to be used to promote consistency in data collection procedures and the data analysis to ensure that the results are comparable between these regions.
In recent years the Subgroup has met in China, the Republic of Korea, Norway and the USA, however, the meeting in Punta Arenas was the closest that the meeting has been to the actual area in which the krill fishery operates. Indeed, one of the Chilean krill fishing vessels could be seen from the meeting venue before it set sail to return to the Antarctic Peninsula.
Dr Keith Reid (CCAMLR Science Manager) said, “Using krill fishing vessels to collect acoustic data to tell us about the state of the krill population is an important area of collaboration between industry and research in CCAMLR and is a key part of ensuring the long-term ecosystem sustainability of the krill fishery.”