CCAMLR employs a variety of terms and expressions. Many of these are listed below to explain how they are generally applied in the work of CCAMLR1.
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Acceptance and Approval
Acceptance and approval are legal terms associated with the formal commitment to abide by the obligations in a treaty or convention.
Until ratification, acceptance or approval, a State or regional economic integration organisation has not formally expressed its consent to be bound by a treaty or convention.
An acceding State is a Contracting Party bound by the provisions of the CAMLR Convention but is not a CCAMLR Member. Acceding States do not contribute financially to the organisation, participate in decision-making and are not permitted to fish in the CAMLR Convention Area.
Accession is the formal commitment of a State or regional economic integration organisation to be legally bound by the terms of a treaty (and/or convention). Accession has the same legal effect as ratification, but is not preceded by an act of signature.
Antarctic Treaty System
The Antarctic Treaty System is made up of four international agreements; the Antarctic Treaty (1959), the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seal (1972), CCAMLR (1980) and the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. The area of application of the Antarctic Treaty is the area south of 60 degrees South Latitude, including all ice shelves. The CAMLR Convention applies to the Antarctic marine living resources within the Treaty area and also to the Antarctic marine living resources of the area between that latitude and the Antarctic Convergence. The Antarctic Treaty Secretariat is located in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- Convention area: The area described in Article I of the CAMLR Convention (see https://www.ccamlr.org/en/organisation/convention-area).
- Closed area: CCAMLR has prohibited directed fishing on various taxa in some subareas and divisions (refer Conservation Measure 32-02). These regions are generally referred to as ‘closed areas’ and afford protection and conservation to target and by-catch species.
- Management area: The general term for an area for which a specific catch limit (including a zero catch limit) is in place. Management areas include small-scale research units and small-scale management units.
- Marine protected area: Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are specific areas set aside to provide protection and conservation to a range of species, habitats and ecosystems. Fishing in these areas may be prohibited (no-take zone), or permitted (multiple use zone). Other areas closed to fishing, such as closed SSRUs, also provide protection and conservation to target species and associated by-catch species. In 2009, CCAMLR designated the southern shelf of the South Orkney Islands (Subarea 48.2) as an MPA (Conservation Measure 91-03).
- Small-scale research unit: The fishing grounds in CCAMLR’s exploratory fisheries are divided into small-scale research units (SSRUs). The boundaries of the SSRUs are defined in Conservation Measure 41-01. SSRUs may be open to commercial and research fishing (with catch limits for target and by-catch species), or closed to fishing activities.
- Small scale management unit: Small-scale management units (SSMUs) have been established for the future management of catch limits and fishing activities in CCAMLR’s krill fisheries.
- Statistical area: The CAMLR Convention Area is divided into statistical areas, subareas and divisions for the purpose of reporting catch, effort and trade statistics. To the extent possible, the boundaries of these areas, subareas and divisions align with general ecosystem characteristics of the Southern Ocean. Areas, subareas and divisions are named using FAO’s global nomenclature for fishery statistical regions (http://www.fao.org/fishery/cwp/search/en). Areas may be further divided into subareas, and subareas may be further divided into divisions. There are three statistical areas in the Convention Area: Area 48 (southern Atlantic Ocean); Area 58 (southern Indian Ocean) and Area 88 (southern Pacific Ocean).
- Statistical subarea: Each of the three statistical areas in the CAMLR Convention Area is divided into statistical subareas. Some subareas may be further divided into statistical divisions. There are six subareas in Area 48: Subarea 48.1 (Antarctic Peninsula), Subarea 48.2 (South Orkney Islands), Subarea 48.3 (South Georgia), Subarea 48.4 (South Sandwich Islands), Subarea 48.5 (Weddell Sea) and Subarea 48.6 (Bouvet Islands). There are four subareas in Area 58: Subarea 58.4 (Eastern Antarctica), Subarea 58.5 (Kerguelen region), Subarea 58.6 (Crozet Islands) and Subarea 58.7 (Prince Edward and Marion Islands). Subareas 58.4 and 58.5 are further divided into statistical divisions. There are three subareas in Area 88: Subarea 88.1 (eastern Ross Sea), Subarea 88.2 (western Ross Sea) and Subarea 88.3 (Amundsen Sea).
- Statistical division: Statistical Area 58 in the CAMLR Convention Area is divided into statistical subareas, and some subareas are further divided into statistical divisions. There are eight divisions in Area 58: Division 58.4.1 (Enderby-Wilkes west), Division 58.4.2 (Enderby-Wilkes east), Division 58.4.3a (Elan Bank), Division 58.4.3b (BANZARE Bank), Division 58.4.4a (Ob Bank), Division 58.4.4b (Lena Bank), Division 58.5.1 (Kerguelen Islands) and Division 58.5.2 (Heard and Mcdonald Islands).
Authorisation to fish
CCAMLR Members are required to provide their flagged vessels ‘authorisation to fish’ prior to undertaking any fishing activities in the Convention Area. These authorisations may be in the form of a permit or a licence issued by the Flag State and must include the specific areas, species and time periods that fishing is authorised.
The Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, referred to as the CAMLR Convention, is an international treaty that was adopted at the Conference on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources which met at Canberra, Australia, 7–20 May 1980. The CAMLR Convention is part of the Antarctic Treaty System and has, as an objective, the conservation of marine living resources where the term “conservation” includes rational use.
CCAMLR (The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources)
CCAMLR includes all States or regional economic integration organisations which have ratified, accepted, approved or acceded to the 1982 Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (the CAMLR Convention).
Members have signed and ratified, approved or accepted the CAMLR Convention. They are involved in scientific research and/or fishing subject to CCAMLR conservation measures. Only Members contribute to the CCAMLR budget and participate in decision-making.
- Target catch: The catch of a species or group of species which is primarily sought in a fishery
- Non-target catch: All catch other than the target catch. Non-target catch is typically referred to as by-catch when it refers to fish and marine invertebrates and as incidental mortality for seabirds and marine mammals
- Incidental catch: Retained catch of non-targeted species
- Discarded catch (usually shortened to discards): That portion of the catch dumped at sea (dead) as a result of economic, legal, or personal considerations
- By-catch: Total fishing mortality excluding that accounted directly by the retained catch of target species. This definition includes fish which die as a result of interaction with the fishing gear, even if they do not leave the water and could include fish which die as a result of "ghost fishing" - capture of fish in the water by lost or abandoned fishing gear.
Data on catches, including catches of target species and by-catch and incidental catches, reported by Flag States or their vessels.
Catch Documentation Scheme (CDS)
In accordance with Conservation Measure 10-05 CCAMLR has implemented a Catch Documentation Scheme (CDS) for Dissostichus spp. The CDS was developed to distinguish between legal and illegal product and tracks toothfish from the point of landing through the trade cycle. In combination with other conservation measures, the CDS has had a positive impact on the legal trade of toothfish and reduced the scope for trade in illegally caught product.
CCAMLR established the CCAMLR Ecosystem Monitoring Program (CEMP) in 1987. The two aims of CEMP are to:
- detect and record significant changes in critical components of the marine ecosystem within the Convention Area, to serve as a basis for the conservation of Antarctic marine living resources
- distinguish between changes due to harvesting of commercial species and changes due to environmental variability, both physical and biological.
CEMP's major function is to monitor the key life-history parameters of selected dependent species to detect changes in the abundance of harvested species. ‘Dependent species’ are marine predators for which species targeted by commercial fisheries are a major component of their diet. In the case of ‘krill-dependent species’ used in CEMP they include land-based species such as seals and penguins.
For additional information see: https://www.ccamlr.org/en/science/ccamlr-ecosystem-monitoring-program-cemp
A site or location where monitoring data are collected using the CEMP standard methods and the data are submitted to CCAMLR.
CCAMLR Contracting Parties includes both Members and Acceding States.
- See also Non-Contracting Parties and Non-cooperating non-Contracting Parties
A measure to support the conservation of Antarctic marine living resources and the management of fisheries in the Southern Ocean. These are decisions of the Commission based on Article IX (1) (f), (2) and (5) of the CAMLR Convention.
Cooperating Non-Contracting Parties
When States not formally associated with the CAMLR Convention cooperate with CCAMLR, these States are referred to as Cooperating non-Contracting Parties. For example, non-Contracting Parties implementing the Catch Document Scheme to track the chain of custody of Dissostichus species are Cooperating non-Contracting Parties.
An action recorded in the Report of the Commission or a Conservation Measure or a Resolution adopted by consensus by the Commission.
CCAMLR sets catch limits using a two-part ‘decision rule’ to determine what proportion of the stock can be fished while still achieving the objective of Article II of the Convention.
To do this the population of the harvested species is projected forward in time using a population model to allow the effects of different catch levels on stable recruitment and the maintenance of ecological relationships to be simulated.
Fine-scale data was the term initially used by CCAMLR to describe catch and effort data from a fishing fleet which were aggregated at a minimum resolution of a fine-scale rectangle (0.5° latitude by 1° longitude) and a 10-day reporting period. As the availability of data improved, the resolution of the fine-scale data progressively increased. Nowadays, ‘fine-scale’ data are submitted for individual vessels and on a haul-by-haul basis. Refer to CM 23-04 and 23-05.
Fine-scale rectangle is defined as an area of 0.5° latitude by 1° longitude with respect to the northwest corner of the statistical subarea or division. The identification of each rectangle is by the latitude of its northernmost boundary and the longitude of the boundary closest to 0°. Fine-scale rectangles were initially defined for the purpose of collecting fine-scale data. Nowadays, fine-scale rectangles are used in the context of VME-indicator notifications. Refer to CM 22-07.
A fishery is defined by fishing activity (harvesting) for a particular species or group of species, the gear used and the geographical area in which it occurs.
- Directed fishery: A fishery targeting a single species or group of species.
- New Fishery: A new fishery (CM 21-01) is a fishery on a species using a particular fishing method in a statistical subarea or division for which:
(i) information on distribution, abundance, demography, potential yield and stock identity from comprehensive research/surveys or exploratory fishing have not been submitted to CCAMLR; or
(ii) catch and effort data have never been submitted to CCAMLR; or
(iii) catch and effort data from the two most recent seasons in which fishing occurred have not been submitted to CCAMLR.
In addition, the use of fishing methods in high-seas areas of the Convention Area as specified in CM 21-01, Annex 21-01/A constitutes new fisheries.
- Exploratory fishery: An exploratory fishery (CM 21-02) is defined as a fishery that was previously classified as a ‘new fishery’. An exploratory fishery will continue to be classified as such until sufficient information is available:
(a) to evaluate the distribution, abundance and demography of the target species, leading to an estimate of the fishery’s potential yield
(b) to review the fishery’s potential impacts on dependent and related species
(c) to allow the Scientific Committee to formulate and provide advice to the Commission on appropriate harvest catch levels, as well as effort levels and fishing gear, where appropriate.
- Fishery closure: All catch limits for target and by-catch species in CCAMLR’s fishery management areas (i.e. areas for which a specific catch limit, including a zero catch limit, is in place) are monitored by the Secretariat using a forecast model to minimise the potential of catch limits being inadvertently exceeded. A fishery closure is implemented when the catch of a target species or by-catch species reaches the relevant catch limit in a fishery management area.
CCAMLR fishing season
1st December of one year to the 30th November of the following year.
Any equipment (other than a fishing vessel or aircraft) used for fishing activities (harvesting).
Any vessel of any size used for, equipped to be used for, or intended for use for the purposes of fishing or fishing related activities, including support ships, fish processing vessels, vessels engaged in transhipment and carrier vessels equipped for the transportation of fishery products except container vessels and excluding Members’ marine science research vessels.
The flag State of a vessel is the State under whose laws the vessel is registered.
The flag State has the authority and responsibility to enforce regulations over vessels registered under its flag, including those relating to inspection, certification, and issuance of safety and pollution prevention documents. As a ship operates under the laws of its flag State, these laws are used if the ship is involved in an admiralty case.
Flag of Convenience
Flag of convenience describes the registration of a vessel in a sovereign State different from that of the ship's owners, and flying that State's civil ensign on the ship. Ships are registered under flags of convenience to reduce operating costs or avoid the regulations of the owner's country. The use of multiple flags of convenience is common practice for IUU vessels.
Gear – see Fishing gear
Haul-by-haul data is the collective term used to describe data from individual fishing events (i.e. haul-by-haul basis). Refer to CM 23-04 and 23-05.
The high seas are all parts of the water column that are not included in the exclusive economic zone, in the territorial sea or in the internal waters of a State, or in the archipelagic waters of an archipelagic State.
The inspection of fishing vessels in national ports by inspectors for the purpose of determining that if the vessel carried out harvesting activities in the Convention Area, these activities were carried out in accordance with CCAMLR conservation measures, and that if it intends to land or tranship Dissostichus spp. the catch to be unloaded or transhipped is accompanied by a Dissostichus catch document required by Conservation Measure 10-05. An inspection may also seek to verify the competency of the master and officers on board, the condition of the ship and its equipment, other requirements of international conventions (e.g. SOLAS, MARPOL, STCW, etc.) and that the vessel is manned and operated in compliance with applicable international law.
Integrated Study Region
Defined region originally designated during the design of CEMP for the intensive study of predators, prey and environmental interactions.
Measure – see Conservation Measure
States not formally associated with the CAMLR Convention are referred to as non-Contracting Parties.
Non-cooperating non-Contracting Parties
Those States identified as being involved in the harvesting, landing and/or trade of toothfish but not cooperating with CCAMLR. CCAMLR endeavours to encourage these States to cooperate with the implementation of the CDS.
The Commission has implemented a number of notification systems whereby Members are required to provide information and/or fulfil agreed criteria prior to a notifiable event. The following notification systems are in operation:
New, exploratory and krill fisheries are subject to an annual notification process whereby Members must notify their intention to fish and fulfil the requirements outlined in CM 21-01, 21-02 and 21-03 respectively.
Research in accordance with CM 24-01 requires notification, and in some cases review and approval from the Scientific Committee, prior to being conducted.
- See also Vessel movement
Ratification is a legal term associated with the formal commitment to abide by the obligations of a treaty or convention.
Ratification is the formal consent of a State to be bound by a treaty. Generally, its national legislative body, such as a parliament, needs to approve international agreements prior to ratification. This process allows a State to transform its international obligations into national legislation that can then be implemented.
On ratification, a State or regional economic integration organisation becomes a Contracting Party.
Regional Economic Integration Organisations
Sovereign States can establish regional economic integration organisations to which they, as member States, then transfer competence in respect of matters governed by the establishing treaty or convention. An example of a regional economic integration organisation is the European Union.
A decision of the Commission implemented on a voluntary basis by CCAMLR Members.
Serious marine casualty
A marine casualty involving the total loss of the fishing vessel, loss of life, severe damage to the marine environment, serious injury to its own or another State’s nationals, or serious damage to its own or another State’s vessels or installations.
Members that detect possible or known IUU vessels in the Convention Area, through direct observation by their own vessels or during surveillance activities, are required to provide the details of these sightings to CCAMLR.
Signature is a legal term associated with the formal commitment to abide by the obligations of a treaty or convention.
When a State or regional economic integration organisation signs a treaty, the signature is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval and the State is obliged to refrain from action that undermines the objectives of that treaty.
Monthly and annual fishery statistics on catch and effort, based on a standard questionnaire originally designed by the Coordinating Working Party On Fisheries Statistics (CWP) for use in global fishery statistics. The data are reported by statistical subarea and division, and are published in the CCAMLR Statistical Bulletin.
A sub-set of a species having the same growth and mortality parameters and inhabiting a particular geographical area with little genetic mixing with the adjacent groups.
Support vessel – see fishing vessel
The transfer at sea of any goods or materials (including harvested marine living resources) to or from fishing vessels.
Vessel Monitoring System
The Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) is an automated, satellite-based reporting system used to monitor the real-time location used to monitor the real-time location of fishing vessels operating in the Convention Area. The VMS is a key component of CCAMLR's monitoring, control and surveillance program.
The movements into, out of and between subareas and divisions of the Convention Area.
Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem
Benthic ecosystems containing species or communities that are considered at risk of disturbance due to fishing or other human activities. The most vulnerable ecosystems are those that are both easily disturbed and very slow to recover, or may never recover. These include ecosystems associated with seamounts, hydrothermal vents, deep-sea trenches and submarine canyons, as well as oceanic ridges.
 The explanation of terms presented here is not exhaustive and is provided without prejudice to the interpretation and application of these terms by individual CCAMLR Members. In addition, the definition of a term may be refined over time as its use in the CCAMLR context evolves. Members are invited to propose additional terms or the removal, or revision, of a term and its explanation as currently presented.
 See: Alverson, D.L., M.H. Freeberg, S.A. Murawski and Pope, J.G. 1994. A global assessment of fisheries bycatch and discards. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap., 339. FAO, Rome: ISBN 92-5-103555-5.