During 2013 WG-EMM agreed to form two inter-sessional task groups to progress work that might facilitate the development of feedback management procedures for the krill fishery in Area 48.
In reviewing the state of ecological knowledge for Subarea 48.2, we conclude that movement towards Stage 2 (in the Staged approach advocated by WG-EMM) is highly improbable based on the current level of information available for Subarea 48.2. We suggest that there is an urgent need to improve the ecological knowledge base, but that this will take time, especially in the context of climate change.
We suggest that recent research initiatives will help provide new information; however, a fundamental step-change in knowledge is required if the krill fishery is to expand beyond its current level in Subarea 48.2.
We note that the most probable source of information allowing expansion to Stage 2 would be the provision of regular acoustic surveys by krill fishing vessels, coupled with ‘health checks’ that describe the status of the ecosystem.
This paper explains the rationale behind these suggestions.