A compilation of parameters for ecosystem dynamics models of the Scotia Sea – Antarctic Peninsula region
Expansion of the krill fishery in the Scotia Sea–Antarctic Peninsula region beyond the current operational catch limit requires the development and assessment of methods for subdividing the precautionary catch limit amongst smaller spatial units. This paper compiles parameters for use in the ecosystem dynamic models that are needed to assess these methods. These parameters include life history and krill consumption parameters for the fish, whale, penguin and seal species that feed on krill in this region. Maximum krill transport rates are also derived from the OCCAM global ocean circulation model. This parameter set, like most others, is associated with considerable uncertainty, which must be taken into account when it is used. The sources, assumptions and calculations at every stage of the compilation process are therefore detailed, and plausible limits for parameter values are provided where possible. The results suggest that fish are the major krill consumers in all SSMUs, with perciform fish taking as much krill as whales, penguins and fur seals combined and myctophid fish taking double that amount. However, estimates of krill consumption per unit predator biomass suggest that this is an order of magnitude higher in penguins and seals than in whales and fish.