The Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund (AWR) issued this week its first call for proposals, inviting applications from scientific researchers who can aid in determining the impact of the krill fishing industry on the Antarctic marine ecosystem. Such research will serve to ensure ecosystem protection, while improving the management basis for the fishery.
The commercial fishery for Antarctic krill is currently managed under a series of measures issued by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), the international body that regulates activities in the Southern Ocean. The Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund aims to improve the science-based understanding of the role of krill in the Antarctic ecosystem and the scientific basis for krill fishery management.
I am particularly pleased to see the launch of this research fund today as I believe it shows a real commitment from the fishing industry to engage in sustainable practices that are built upon the solid foundation of scientific evidence. Not only will this fund help build a sound basis for management, but it will hopefully also help foster closer collaboration between scientists from many different nations.
“Such collaborations, including with NGOs and industry, are critical if we are to tackle some of the real challenges that face us in managing marine ecosystems as they cope with the combined pressures of climate change and increasing human demands. This fund should be an exemplar for other industries elsewhere in the world said Dr. Phil Trathan, Chair of the AWR Science Advisory Group”.
The Science Advisory Group (SAG) of the AWR, will evaluate and prioritize scientific research proposals received by the fund to ensure they are in line with the scientific research plan, established by the SAG and that they fulfill the goal of AWR.
• The AWR call for proposals opened, March 16 and closes at June 16, 2015.
• The call is made for projects in the order of USD$25,000 to USD$100,000.
• AWR’s first Call for proposals will allocate up to a total sum of USD $250,000.
Launched in February 2015, AWR is a first-of-its-kind partnership between industry, academia and non-government organizations (NGOs), to facilitate and promote research on the Antarctic ecosystem. AWR believes that only through better understanding of the role of Antarctic krill in the Southern Ocean will it be possible to comprehensively protect the animals that depend on it for survival and ensure precautionary management of the fishery.