The Secretariat monitors the catches of all target and by-catch species (or species groups) in CCAMLR fisheries, including catches taken from small-scale research units and other management areas where catch limits apply. Each season, approximately 130 catch limits are monitored and a linear regression forecast model is used to determine closure dates. Over the past five seasons, the Secretariat has closed 68 fishing areas, and the total catches of Dissostichus in areas closed using the forecast model averaged 98.5% of the relevant catch limits.
The forecast model relies on the assumption that the fishery will operate in the future in the same way as it did in the period from which the data are used to make the prediction. Using this prediction approach assumes that there will be underruns and overruns of catch limits, and as such overruns are a part of the management process used by CCAMLR. Where the assumption about the operation of the fishery is violated, there is a higher risk that the linear prediction will be inaccurate.
A range of management options are considered in response to a catch overrun. The main question for WG-SAM appears focused on determining the size of an overrun which may trigger specific management action.