The principal mission of the U. S. directed AMLR research program is to provide the scientific information needed to detect, monitor, and predict the effects of harvesting and associated activities on target, dependent, and related species and populations of the Antarctic marine living resources and the ecosystems of which they are a part.
The Program utilizes a chartered research vessel to conduct predator/prey studies in the vicinity of two field stations in the South Shetland Islands. The ship platform is used to collect environmental, oceanographic, primary productivity and prey data (zooplankton abundance and distribution, specifically Antarctic krill Euphausia superba). More information on why the AMLR Program focuses on krill is available
here. Finfish surveys are conducted periodically to assess biomass of species subject to commercial harvesting. Vessel surveys are primarily conducted in the austral summer, but in recent years, the AMLR Program has conducted winter surveys to provide a greater understanding of the overwinter environmental processes.
Concurrently, AMLR researchers collect predator data at field stations located at Cape Shirreff on Livingston Island (seabird and seal data) and at Copacabana in Admiralty Bay on King George Island (seabird data). Predator data is collected primarily in the austral spring-summer window, although some of the predators are tagged for overwinter distribution studies.