The Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund (AWR) formally launched only last week at the Expo West/Engredea trade show in Anaheim, CA. AWR ia a cooperative venture of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition, World Wildlife Fund Norway and Aker BioMarine, the world´s largest harvester of krill. The fund seeks to act cooperatively with CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of the Antarctic Marine Living Resources), the multinational body that governs the utilization of ecosystem resources in Antarctic waters.
One of the first officials on board, science advisor Dr Rudolph Werner of Argentina, characterized the krill fishery as mankind´s “last opportunity to get it right”. By that he means that the krill fishery is still in a state of infancy compered to the harvest levels of other more established fisheries such as cod, herring, sardines and anchovy. In some other fisheries, such as cod in the nor-western Atlantic, by the time problems with the fishery were noted, it was too late. Unsustainable harvest levels, rapidly expanding fishing fleet capabilities in the shape of bigger, more sophisticated and more powerful boats and poorly coordinated multi national management of the fishery were to blame.
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