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Southern Ocean pelagic ecosystems: the era of conservation
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 12:33 authored by Inigo Everson
The decline of the great whales by the early 1960s allied to the emergence of the “new order” of ocean governance under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which limited the availability of some of the most productive fishing grounds by placing them under Coastal state jurisdiction, meant that many traditional fishing nations were looking to alternative targets. Antarctic krill, which in the era of Discovery Investigations had been studied as the whale food, now became a target for commercial fishing along with some fin fish species. Major concerns were expressed at the potential difficulties that might arise, not just for krill but also dependent species, should over-fishing on krill occur. This led to the Biological Investigations of Marine Antarctic Systems and Stocks (BIOMASS) and subsequently to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). Implementing an ecosystem approach by CCAMLR, the first to be included in any fisheries convention, has provided challenges. More recently the questions of surveillance and monitoring of the fleets in the lucrative toothfish fishery has been the major concern. Developments in fishing, monitoring and the provision of scientific advice for management are discussed.
Publication titleArchives of Natural History
PublisherEdinburgh University Press