The global biodiversity and climate crisis (IPBES 2019; IPCC 2019) underscores the responsibility of CCAMLR in contributing to climate change response and mitigation, given its mandate to conserve marine life in approximately 10% of the global ocean. CCAMLR must ensure its decision-making processes and conservation measures anticipate and respond adequately to climate-driven changes in the Southern Ocean. In this paper, we describe specific actions CCAMLR should take in the next two to three years to respond to the threat of climate change in the Convention Area, based on the Climate Change Response Work Program (CCRWP) introduced in 2018 (CCAMLR XXXVII/23). ASOC recommends prioritizing the following actions to address the impacts of climate change:
1. Enhance ecosystem resilience through suitable mechanisms, including establishing a representative system of marine protected areas (MPAs).
2. Explore plausible scenarios for changes in AMLR populations over the next 2-3 decades, including methods to evaluate fishing impacts and improve baseline data.
3. Develop and adopt ecosystem-based management for krill fisheries, including regularly updating biomass estimates, stock assessments, and risk assessments.
4. Undertake spatially explicit stock assessment to account for changes in spatial distribution of species due to sea ice changes.
5. Reinvigorate the Climate Change e-Group, including updating its Terms of Reference and updating the CCRWP.
6. Continue to work to identify reference areas for climate related research, including research specified in MPA Research and Monitoring Plans.
An appendix to this paper lists additional actions/responses from the CCRWP identified by ASOC as a priority.