This is the 18th volume of CCAMLR Science and the contents reflect the important science that supports CCAMLR’s management of the marine living resources of the Southern Ocean. In particular there is a suite of papers that address key aspects of improving assessment of the population status of toothfish and of assessing the risk associated with gathering data and interpreting indicators from populations that may be depleted. The suite of papers on krill cover the spectrum of analysis of data gathered on fishing vessels to using trends in patents to predict the future for krill fishing; as well as a description of the analysis of acoustic data to determine krill biomass.
During 2010 there were five meetings of the specialist groups of the Scientific Committee of CCAMLR, covering acoustics, statistics and modelling, ecosystem monitoring and management, fish stock assessment and at-sea operations. A total of 104 working papers were presented at these meetings. This volume consists
of papers that were submitted to those meetings and have been through the scrutiny of those specialist groups as well as the more traditional peer-review process.
The papers in this volume of CCAMLR Science broadly reflect the important areas of research used to provide advice on the management of fishing in the Convention Area. For example, in the case of toothfish there are papers that develop our understanding of the dynamics of fish populations through improved natural mortality estimates, examine the potential costs of research catches as well as the potential spatial overlap with vulnerable benthic habitats. In the case of Antarctic krill, there are papers that describe how abundance estimates are derived from acoustic data, details of the krill and fish by-catch taken in the krill fishery and a novel paper looking at market predictors of the future krill fishery.
Publication of this volume of CCAMLR Science coincides with the 30th meeting of the CCAMLR Scientific Committee. Over those 30 years, several thousand scientific papers have been presented to CCAMLR meetings and provide the basis for the science-based decision-making by CCAMLR. One of the most striking changes over the past 30 years is the increase in the number of scientific journals in which work of relevance to CCAMLR is published. This is undoubtedly driven by the need to publish (or be damned), however, quite often authors refer to their findings being ‘important to CCAMLR’ yet those papers do not get submitted for consideration by CCAMLR. I would urge all authors who consider that their papers may be relevant to CCAMLR to contact the CCAMLR Representative for their country (or the CCAMLR Secretariat) to investigate ways to maximise the potential impact of their important science.