Ecosystem Modelling

During the past decade, the U.S. has been concerned about the amount of krill taken by the fishery in close proximity to the predator breeding colonies. Almost 100% of the krill commercial harvest each year occurs within 100 km of predator colonies in the Antarctic Peninsula area. Because of this concern, the AMLR Program initiated predator/prey/fisheries interaction studies.SSMUsm2

These studies include development of a conceptual model to assist in identifying critical uncertainties concerning the numerical and functional relationships between krill  and various krill predators, and how those uncertainties are affected by an associated krill fishery. In conjunction with other CCAMLR scientists, the U.S. will continue to develop a conceptual model to assist in identifying relationships between krill, krill predators, and the krill fishery. This model was presented at the 2005 CCAMLR WG-EMM Workshop and continues to be developed to address issues raised at various CCAMLR meetings. It is expected that during the next five years this work will result in acceptance of an allocation scheme to divide the krill catch limit among Small Scale Management Units (SSMUs).

Several long-term, hypothesis driven, observational studies will be initiated over the next five to 10 years. These studies are designed to elucidate the links between and among ecosystem compartments with the South Shetland Islands, and focus on three inter-connected and oceanographically linked components. The culmination of this effort will be ecosystem based models of the interaction between the environment, krill dynamics and predator populations. Variables studied will include transport variability, sea-ice interactions, local transport retention and concentrations, and utility of SSMUs.

Last modified: 12/24/2014