Since 1992, CCAMLR has agreed that exploratory fishing is not to be allowed to expand faster than the acquisition of information necessary to ensure that the fishery can and will be conducted in accordance with the principles set forth in Article II of the Convention. However, several times over the last five years the Scientific Committee has noted with concern the lack of progress in developing robust assessments of status of Dissostichus spp. in exploratory fisheries. Each additional year of fishing increases the risk of over-exploitation of fish stocks. In this paper we articulate a set of principles to assist the Scientific Committee with developing a framework for research in data poor fisheries, which could include exploratory fisheries as well as closed fisheries, and to assist Members with designing, evaluating and implementing research plans with a high likelihood of achieving the Commissions’ goals for new, exploratory and closed fisheries as well as satisfying the objectives in Article II.