A global contribution to conservation and rational use

Photo by Karl Hermann Kock A global contribution to conservation and rational use Over the last 40 years CCAMLR has implemented highly effective, precautionary, ecosystem-based management in the Convention Area. Since 1982, CCAMLR has set global benchmarks for long-term conservation, including the rational use of Antarctic marine living resources. In recognition, CCAMLR was awarded the …

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Spatial management

Photo by John B. Wellerr Spatial management Activities in the Convention Area are regulated through an ecosystem-based approach and a precautionary approach. The Commission adopts conservation measures to regulate activities in accordance with CAMLR Convention Article IX, including on catch limits, gear and other operational issues, and open and closed seasons and areas. CCAMLR has …

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The International scheme for scientific observation provides highly valuable data for management

Photo by Anthony Miller, Australia The International scheme for scientific observation provides highly valuable data for management There were scientific observers on some vessels fishing within the CCAMLR-managed area even before the CAMLR Convention entered into force in 1982, with many nations tasking scientific observers to undertake specific scientific projects. For example, observers on Polish …

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Effective control and management of fishing and related activities

Photo by Karl Hermann Kock Effective control and management of fishing and related activities A critical responsibility of CCAMLR is monitoring compliance with the Conservation Measures (CMs) to ensure that fishing is conducted in a sustainable manner, to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Convention Area and maintain strong …

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Elimination of IUU fishing and the world’s first catch document scheme

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is a global problem, and it occurs in all oceans, estimated by some to be worth tens of billions of dollars a year. The use of the term “IUU” was first used by CCAMLR in 1997, and in 1999 this term was adopted by the international community in the Food and Agriculture Organizations (FAO)’s International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate IUU Fishing in 2001.

Minimising impacts on the environment

In earlier blogs we have explored the actions that CCAMLR took to deal with specific challenges arising from fishing activities, but throughout the last 40 years the organisation has also taken precautionary measures to guard against a wide range of other impacts, both known and possible.
For instance, in 1990 CCAMLR passed Resolution 7/IX which endorsed the goals of UN General Assembly Resolution 44/225 and determined there would be no expansion of large-scale pelagic driftnet fishing in the Convention Area. This was a precautionary measure since at the time there was no such activity in CCAMLR waters.

Toothfish – precautionary development of a deep water fishery

Picture of a fishing vessel

When CCAMLR started its work, in the 1980s, whaling, sealing and fishing had been taking place in the Antarctic for many decades. Sealers first hunted fur seals for their pelts in 1790. By 1825, some populations of fur seals were close to extinction, and sealers began hunting elephant seals and some species of penguins for oil. Whaling in the Southern Ocean began in 1904, with seven species of whales being exploited until the International Whaling Commission implemented a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986.

Ecosystem-based management of krill fishery

There are a number of species of krill in the Southern Ocean, but one species, the Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, dominates, making up an estimated biomass of around 380 milliontonnes1. Of this, over half is eaten by whales, seals, penguins, squid and fish each year, and is replaced through reproduction and subsequent growth of the krill population. Krill can live up to 11 years in aquariums but in the wild they probably live for 5 to 6 years, spawning when they are 2 to 3 years old.

40 years of monitoring the Antarctic ecosystem and managing fishing activities

Immediately after the CAMLR Convention entered into force, the first meetings of the Commission and Scientific Committee took place from 25 May to 11 June 1982. The focus of the Committee in these early years was to acquire data on the state of the Antarctic ecosystem, of fishing activities and the state of the fish and krill populations that were the subject of fishing.