ARK’s sponsored krill survey takes off

On Wednesday, 9 January 2019, the FV Cabo de Hornos, with a group of six scientists from Norway, Germany and Chile, led by the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (IMR), departed from Punta Arenas, Chile, and sailed towards the gelid waters of the Southern Ocean.

The main objective of this voyage is to conduct a survey to assess the status of the Antarctic krill around the Antarctic Peninsula and the Scotia Sea Arc, an area roughly the size of France and Germany combined. The survey will also assess the abundance of whales along the transects, and critical environmental variables that will help in understanding the relationship of krill and its habitat.

The Survey, lasting 55 days and covering 7677 nautical miles, has been sponsored by ARK Members as part of their commitment to the sustainable management of the krill fishery. Along with a parallel survey by the RV Konprins Haakon from Norway, both vessels will conduct more than 80% of the transects arranged for this study.

This Krill Survey is part of a concerted effort by Norway, UK, China, South Korea and Ukraine to understand the current status of the krill population in the Southern Ocean. Results will be analysed by IMR and presented to CCAMLR with the aim of improving understanding of the krill population and improving its management.

Appointment of ARK’s Executive Officer

ARK recently announced the appointment of Dr. Javier Arata as its new Executive Officer. This appointment will strengthen ARK’s capacity to drive and support its objectives and to increase its responsiveness to the needs of CCAMLR. Dr. Arata has previously worked with the Chilean Antarctic Institute. He has a background in science and fishery experience, as well as considerable experience with CCAMLR. Dr. Arata is now the main contact point for ARK through

ARK welcomes new members, August 2018

ARK members have welcomed two new members into the Association – Dongwon Industries Co., Ltd (South Korea) and Liaoning Pelagic Fisheries Co., Ltd (P.R. China). There are now 7 krill fishing companies from Chile (1), P.R. China (2), South Korea (2) and Norway (2),
joining forces to ensure the long-term sustainability of the krill fishery.

ARK commits to voluntary restrictions in the Antarctic Peninsula to ensure long- term sustainability of krill fisheries

At a roundtable meeting in Cambridge, UK, on 5 July 2018, ARK to groundbreaking voluntary restricted zones covering about 74000 km 2 in the Antarctic Peninsula.

The initiative will limit krill harvesting around penguin colonies from 1 January 2019. It will ensure the long-term viability of krill stocks and that the krill fishing industry does not compete with penguin colonies during their breeding season.

Strong marine protection and sustainable krill fisheries can co-exist. This voluntary measure will provide protection as well as a platform for Antarctic marine scientists to collect information for increased understanding of the interactions of the krill fishery with other predators in the Antarctic Peninsula.

With this commitment, ARK companies pledge to keep fishing effort up to 40 kilometres away from the coast from October to March, depending on the conservation needs of colonies of Adélie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins while breeding around the Antarctic Peninsula, off South Shetland and in Gerlache strait.

The commitment will see the seasonal closure gradually implemented into a permanent closure from 2020, of which size and limits are to be decided after an independent review of the implementation, of scientific data collected and the potential impact on the commercial fishery.

Even with the robust biomass of the Antarctic krill, and a krill fishery regulated by very precautionary CCAMLR quotas, it is imperative to keep developing sustainable fishing patterns on nature’s own terms in order to preserve the krill population and the Antarctic ecosystem well into the future. This is why the science behind this voluntary measure is extremely important to us, and continued implementation must take into account input from the CCAMLR community of member states, scientists and NGOs to ensure that a balanced and precautionary approach is maintained.

Map of Voluntary Restriction Zones 


ARK update, May 2018

ARK members are continuing their endeavours to ensure the long-term viability of the krill stocks and dependent predators. There are currently five members, with three other krill fishing companies currently going through the membership application process. Earlier this year, ARK members met in Punta Arenas, Chile, hosted by Deris S.A/Pesca Chile.

The following issues were discussed:

  • Undertaking annual transects in Subareas 48.1 and 48.2 (see the ‘What we do’ tab). This activity is now a pre-requisite for companies wishing to join ARK.
  • ARK members indicated their willingness to participate in a multinational large-scale krill synoptic survey in Area 48 in 2019 being proposed by Norway (see the ‘What we do’ tab). Members have allocated ship time for participation in the survey.

Two ARK representatives are actively participating in an e-group to discuss a proposal by Argentina and Chile for a Marine Protected Area in Domain 1 (the Antarctic Peninsula) which was presented to CCAMLR in 2017. Members agreed at the meeting in Chile that, due to the scope and rapidly increasing work of  the association as it moves forward, it will be necessary to employ an Executive Officer to manage its affairs. The recruitment process has begun and it is expected that the successful applicant will begin duties in January 2019. The job description and criteria are available on the ‘Positions Vacant’ webpage.

ARK will again be attending the annual CCAMLR meetings in October and looks forward to building on its successful participation in CCAMLR-XXXVI last year.

ARK update, September 2017

Since the CCAMLR meetings in 2016, ARK members have continued their endeavours to ensure the long-term viability of the krill stocks and dependent predators. Its five current
members continue to encourage other krill fishing companies to join its efforts; at least two other companies are currently considering membership.

Activities in 2017 have included:

  • The purchase and installation of a calibration kit for use by ARK members. This equipment will be used to provide CCAMLR scientists with acoustic data on the distribution and abundance of Antarctic krill
  • Continued discussions with the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) with the aim of furthering understanding between fishing and the tourism industry. ARK and IAATO are working together to provide the tourism industry with booklets containing information on the krill fishery and its management.

In June this year, ARK hosted an afternoon workshop during the Third International Krill Symposium in Scotland. The aim of this workshop was to bring together scientists and the fishing industry to explore topics of mutual interest. Specifically, it was designed to provide an opportunity for interaction with the wider scientific community that is interested in krill research, not just CCAMLR scientists. The workshop provided a forum for the fishing industry and scientists to exchange information, ideas and aspirations.

Discussion at the workshop was lively and, by the end, industry was better informed about the issues of scientific concern, and scientists had a better understanding of how the Antarctic krill fishery operates and the scientific issues that are relevant to the fishery. ARK will again be attending the CCAMLR meetings in October and looks forward to building on its successful participation in CCAMLR-XXXV last year.

ARK update, December 2016

ARK is now a well-established player in the work of CCAMLR and is now considered the best source of information on the general operation and requirements of the krill fishing industry. The ability of the industry to act swiftly and in advance of the CCAMLR decision-making process is now appreciated. The task of ARK in the year ahead is to build on its successful participation in CCAMLR-XXXV which was held in October 2016. Due to this success and the initiatives it has undertaken, ARK members will continue to strongly encourage those krill fishing companies which have not yet joined the association, to become active participants in ensuring the long-term sustainability of the krill fishery.

During CCAMLR-XXXV, ARK met with scientists from many member countries and discussed topics such as fishery and operational information, management options, economics and products, potential expansion of the fishery. ARK also discussed the protocols and procedures for collecting acoustic data from fishing vessels using the calibration kits it had already agreed to provide for use by its members.

The major outcomes of CCAMLR-XXXV of relevance to ARK were:

  • Revision of Conservation Measure (CM) 51-06 to include a staged transition to 100% observer coverage in the krill fishery by 2020/21.
  • Agreement to develop a new method for catch reporting for the continuous fishing system.
  • A one-season trial is to be carried out on any krill trawl vessel using a net monitoring cable with the results to be reported to SC-CAMLR to further evaluate the safety of the use of this cable.
  • CM 51-07, apportioning the trigger level in the South Atlantic to the various subareas, was extended until 2020/21. Although agreement was not reached on changing the proportions of the trigger level between subareas, it was agreed that the measure should be replaced following advice from SC-CAMLR, but if no agreement was reached, the measure should expire by the end of the 2020/21 fishing season.
  • The requirements of CM 51-04, the general measure for exploratory fisheries for E. superba, were carried forward to 2016/17 to provide guidance to CCAMLR Members who may wish to notify for these exploratory fisheries.
  • Adoption of CM 24-04 facilitating the establishment of time-limited Special Areas for Scientific Study in newly exposed marine areas following ice-shelf retreat or collapse in Subareas 48.1, 48.5 and 88.3.
  • Adoption of CM 91-05 establishing the Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area, commencing 1 December 2017.

The CCAMLR conservation measures currently in force, including those adopted at CCAMLR-XXXV, can be accessed at the following link:

In addition to the abovementioned outcomes:

  • ARK members voluntarily agreed to avoid fishing during the 2016/17 breeding season near gentoo penguin colonies at three sites in Subarea 48.1 which had suffered mortality events apparently caused by unusual environmental conditions. A map showing these penguin sites is provided, open map.  A list of all gentoo penguin sites is also provided for information only, open list.
  • ARK reiterated its commitment to assisting the Commission and the Scientific Committee to meet the goals of the Convention and that it would continue to ensure that the activities of its members’ vessels do not impede scientific work.

ARK will now hold a half-day workshop in association with the Third International Krill Symposium being held in St Andrews, Scotland, in June 2017. This meeting will attract a wider group of krill scientists than that which attend CCAMLR meetings and will use the opportunity to examine ways in which the krill fishing industry and krill researchers can collaborate.


ASMA areas

ASMAs and ASPAs are small areas that have been set aside by the Antarctic Treaty and they require special permits for entry. The definitions and the protocol for declaring them is laid out on this web page: It was recognised that fishing vessels might inadvertently enter these protected areas because of the lack of easily accessible information on their location. The Scientific Committee endorsed the need to improve communication so that management plans (with maps) could be readily accessed by fishing vessels. Accordingly, the location of Protected areas in the South Atlantic is presented in the maps here on the ARK website and a listing of all ASPAs and ASMAs can be found at:

Download ASMA areas (PDF file)



Members of ARK