Distribution of krill (Euphausia superba Dana) catches in the South Shetlands and South Orkneys
A set of concentric zones of 20 km width was defined around selected colonies of penguins distributed around the coasts of the South Shetland and South Orkney Islands. Krill catches in these zones are shown to have a consistent pattern in Subarea 48.1 but an unpredictable distribution in Subarea 48.2, probably as a result of more variable hydrographic conditions. About 50% of the catch in Subarea 48.1 from December to March was taken within 40 km of the coast, and 90% within 80 km in all years 1988 to 1991. In 1987, 1988 and 1991, 75% of the catch in Subarea 48.2 between December and March was taken within 80 km of colonies in the South Orkneys. Estimates of consumption rates, foraging ranges and population sizes from the literature are used to show that for some years catches within 100 km of predator colonies between December and March may be up to 45% of the land-based predator consumption. Whilst the normal ratio of catch to consumption is relatively low (less than 27%), and the fishery may have to increase by a factor of 2 or 3 before ratios of catch to consumption approach maximum sustainable levels, any competition between the fishery and predators as a result of large increases in catch is likely to emerge in areas of high overlap between predators and the fishery earlier than would be expected considering the fishery as a whole.