At last year’s meeting the Scientific Committee requested that SCAR consider the establishment of a krill expert group to bring together those scientists working on krill and to have a linkage to CCAMLR. Prof. Dr. Bettina Meyer (Germany), on behalf of the Scientific Committee, was tasked to initiate the SCAR Krill Action Group (SKAG) (SC-CAMLR IIIVI Paragraphs 10.9- 10.11).
SCAR Krill Action Group (SKAG) was endorsed by Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) during its Davos Meeting in June. SCAR approved funding of 4700€ for SKAG to be spent for supporting young scientist in their activities for the initial two-year period (2019 and 2020).
The first SKAG planning meeting was held on 16th July 2018 at British Antarctic Survey following the WG-EMM. The meeting was attended by the members of SKAG executive group and a representative from ICED to discuss and agree on a broad plan for its activities.
The aim of SKAG is to become the major conduit between CCAMLR and the wider krill science community, and provide a forum to guide research directions, promote collaboration, improve understanding of krill biology and ecology, and assist in providing critical scientific information relevant to krill fishery management.
The group highlighted a need to renew the efforts to assess the status of krill stocks, especially its recruitment, reproduction, and their distribution, given the rapid change in the environment in the last few decades. Understanding of krill behaviour and the timings of krill transport across different subareas are also still limited. The important role for SKAG will also be to provide expert advice on krill biology in relation to the review of CM 51-07. Interaction between SKAG and Integrating Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics in the Southern Ocean Program (ICED) was also discussed.
To implement its important goal, the group need to facilitate the attendance of a diverse range of krill experts to annual SKAG meetings to be held in association with WG-EMM meetings. The SKAG therefore requests the SC-CAMLR a travel funding of 13000 AUD (8000€) to support krill experts to attend the SKAG meeting who would not normally attend WG-EMM.