Successful ecosystem-based management of Antarctic krill should address uncertainties in krill recruitment, behaviour and ecological adaptation

Bettina Meyer*, Angus Atkinson, Kim S. Bernard, Andrew S. Brierley, Ryan Driscoll, Simeon L. Hill, Enrique Marschoff, Dale Maschette, Frances A. Perry, Christian S. Reiss, Emilce Rombolá, Geraint A. Tarling, Sally E. Thorpe, Philip N. Trathan, Guoping Zhu, So Kawaguchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Abstract

Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, supports a valuable commercial fishery in the Southwest Atlantic, which holds the highest krill densities and is warming rapidly. The krill catch is increasing, is concentrated in a small area, and has shifted seasonally from summer to autumn/winter. The fishery is managed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, with the main goal of safeguarding the large populations of krill-dependent predators. Here we show that, because of the restricted distribution of successfully spawning krill and high inter-annual variability in their biomass, the risk of direct fishery impacts on the krill stock itself might be higher than previously thought. We show how management benefits could be achieved by incorporating uncertainty surrounding key aspects of krill ecology into management decisions, and how knowledge can be improved in these key areas. This improved information may be supplied, in part, by the fishery itself.
Original languageEnglish
Article number28
Number of pages12
JournalCommunications Earth & Environment
Volume1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Climate sciences
  • Ecology
  • Ecosystem ecology

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