Pressures affecting Antarctic fisheries

Component
Summary
Grade
Very high impact High impact Low impact Very low impact
Confidence
In Grade In Trend
Comparability
To previous years

Extraction of biotic resources—krill

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011. 

  • In 2011, 'extraction of biotic resources—finfish' and 'extraction of biotic resources—krill' were combined in 'extraction of biotic resources'.

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Currently, krill catches are below the catch limits set by CCMALR. However, in the South Atlantic, the krill fishery is expanding. Environmental changes will negatively impact krill, which could make this species vulnerable

Year(s): 
2016
3
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Rapidly increasing catches of krill and new fishing technologies threaten to outstrip the ability to sustainably manage fisheries

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Extraction of biotic resources—finfish

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • In 2011, 'extraction of biotic resources—finfish' and 'extraction of biotic resources—krill' were combined in 'extraction of biotic resources'.

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

The Australian EEZ off Heard Island and McDonald Islands, and Macquarie Island supports fisheries for toothfish and icefish that have a high level of independent monitoring. Government and independent bodies have assessed them as ecologically sustainable

Year(s): 
2016
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Rapidly increasing catches of krill and new fishing technologies threaten to outstrip the ability to sustainably manage fisheries

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

IUU fishing for toothfish remains a serious threat in the Southern Ocean; impact is difficult to ascertain with accuracy, but it threatens the sustainability of harvested and dependent species. 

Recent multilateral initiatives have led to the cessation of IUU activities off East Antarctica

Year(s): 
2016
2
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Remains a serious problem in the Southern Ocean; impact is difficult to ascertain with accuracy, but it threatens the sustainability of harvested and dependent species

Year(s): 
2011
1
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Some marine organisms are already affected by ocean acidification, including through reduced calcification of shells and exoskeletons. Current impact is probably low, but is expected to lead to measurable changes in the Southern Ocean ecosystem and change in species composition in the longer term

Year(s): 
2016
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Some marine organisms already affected by ocean acidification, including reduced calcification of shells and exoskeletons; current impact is probably low but expected to lead to measurable changes in the Southern Ocean ecosystem and change in species composition

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

CCAMLR = Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources; EEZ = exclusive economic zone; IUU = illegal, unreported and unregulated

Klekociuk A, Wienecke B (2016). Antarctic environment: Pressures affecting Antarctic fisheries. In: Australia state of the environment 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra, https://soe.environment.gov.au/assessment-summary-711-pressures-affecting-antarctic-fisheries, DOI 10.4226/94/58b65b2b307c0