Historically, the krill surveys typically took place in the austral summer – the same time as the fishery. However, fisheries are now spending more time in the Antarctic, and have moved into other areas not covered by the surveys. Further, there are some aspects of ship-based research that limit what scientists can learn about krill dynamics.
“We are in a space for an hour, then we move to the next space 40 miles away and we take another sample, and we do this for weeks. We’re occupying a space for an insignificant amount of time,” Reiss explains.
From a management perspective, defining what is precautionary, what “good catches” are, requires having data at appropriate time and space scales. Expanding the timing and duration of ship-based research to match the fisheries is economically infeasible, so Reiss and colleagues looked for a different way to survey the Antarctic. The solution has been to embrace autonomous technology.
Using novel ADCP technology for improved data collection
With the help of two other CCAMLR nations (Norway and the UK) and the U.S. National Science Foundation, a suite of moorings equipped with Signature100 ADCPs and gliders was deployed in the Antarctic Peninsula’s waters last year.