Distribution and size–age composition of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) in the South Orkney Islands region (CCAMLR Subarea 48.2).
The distribution, size–age composition and biological condition of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) caught by the Russian krill trawler FV Maxim Starostin in Subarea 48.2 between January and March in 2009 and 2010 are described. The distribution of size–age groups in association with particular water masses indicated that age 2+ krill dominated in cold Weddell Sea waters in the southern parts of the fishing area, while older age classes (3+, 4+, 5+) dominated in Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) waters in the northern parts. No 1+ age cohort was found in catches in 2009 or in 2010. This absence of 1+ E. superba is unlikely to be a result of trawl selectivity as adult Pygmy krill (E. frigida) (of the same size as 1+ krill) were present in the catches.