Net monitoring during krill trawling is necessary to the industry and beneficial to CCAMLR science. Currently there is no workable alternative to a cabled connection between vessel and trawl sensors. Norwegian krill vessels conducting continuous trawling use a cabled connection where the trawl wire and net cable run in parallel and are closely aligned. This solution has now also been implemented on the FV Saga Sea because extensive trials carried out in 2017/18 with other alternatives were not successful. Extensive monitoring of bird interactions reflected in observer reports suggests that this particular rigging is compatible with the main objectives of CM 25-03, i.e. minimizing the incidental mortality of, or injury to, seabirds and marine mammals during trawl fishing.
As requested in a recommendation from WG-EMM 2019, this paper describes how the current net monitoring is being implemented. It also summarizes earlier experiments on the FV Saga Sea.
Based on the recognized need and utility of net monitoring devices and the continued technical requirement for cabled communication, Norway requests that the SC considers amending Article 1 of CM 25-03 so that uses of net monitoring cables that do not violate the objectives of reducing incidental mortality of, or injury to, seabirds become permitted.
Observers continue to monitor bird interactions on the Norwegian vessels and pertinent data are given in their reports. The proposed amended text of the Article 1 in CM 25-03 is therefore: “The use of net monitoring cables on vessels in the CCAMLR Convention Area is prohibited unless it is documented that the cable connection between trawl and vessel is rigged in such a manner that interactions with seabirds causing mortality or injury are minimized”.