The second of six winter krill surveys in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is underway. The first winter krill survey was completed successfully on board the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands fishery patrol vessel MV Pharos SG in May this year.
A keystone prey species in the Southern Ocean is retreating towards the Antarctic because of climate change. Krill are small, shrimp-like creatures that swarm in vast numbers and form a major part of the diets of whales, penguins, seabirds, seals and fish. Scientists say warming conditions in recent decades have led to the krill contracting pole-ward.
A team of Antarctic scientists hopes that an experiment to capture the sound of a single krill will help determine how many individuals of this key Antarctic species are swimming in the Southern Ocean. Researchers from the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) are using echo sounder technology to record the sound of krill specimens of different sizes over a range of frequencies.
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 government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands has announced it will issue two-year fishing licenses to companies who successfully apply to fish for toothfish and icefish in the SGSSI Maritime Zone, reports the South Georgia Newsletter latest edition.
Modelling of the effects of sea temperature rises in the Southern Oceans indicates that krill in the seas around South Georgia may be the hardest hit of the region by the effects of global warming, reports the August edition of the South Georgia Newsletter.
Antarctic krill are usually less than 6 cm in length, but their size belies the major role they play in sustaining much of the life in the Southern Ocean. They are the primary food source for many species of whales, seals, penguins and fish.
The government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, GSGSSI, announced a vast Marine Protected Areas around the Island in February and it is likely there is more protection to come that could affect krill fishing and long-lining, reports the September edition of the South Georgia newsletter.
Only one longliner remained fishing in South Georgia waters at the end of the season on August 31. Four longliners were fishing at the start of August, but just one remained to complete its allotted fish quota. The others completed their TAC at various times through the month then sailed for the Falkland Islands for catch verification.
Olympic Seafood AS has announced that its vessel ‘Juvel’ has recently completed its most successful Antarctic krill season ever, with record efficiency and a catch of the utmost quality.