Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund calls for proposals to study krill-eating flying seabirds - such as the Black-browed Albatross

The Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund, which facilitates and promotes research on the Antarctic ecosystem, has made a call for research proposals that will lead to helping  the Southern Ocean fishery for Antarctic Krill Euphasia superba to be managed in a sustainable manner.  A description of one of the proposed studies entitled “The role of flying birds in the krill centric food web” follows:

“Spatial management of krill fisheries by CCAMLR has, to date, largely considered the demands of diving predators, including penguins. Information on the level of krill consumption by flying seabirds, and the potential competition with krill fisheries, have long been recognised as major data gaps by CCAMLR. Tracking and at-sea survey data indicate that in some areas of operation, krill fishing vessels overlap with the preferred foraging localities of flying seabirds. Even in situations of limited spatial overlap, there may be a competitive and therefore functional overlap, as flying seabirds may rely on krill advected from areas where fisheries operate. Improved analyses of both spatial and functional overlap of flying seabirds with krill fisheries and areas of high densities would therefore be informative, particularly as fishing vessels access krill at much deeper depths than flying seabirds, and so may respond differently to krill dynamics.

 

Black-browed Albatrosses are known to eat Antarctic Krill

“Applicants should give details about the proposed start and end dates of any proposal. Applicants should also provide specific dates by which outputs and products from the research will be produced. Successful proposals should preferably start as soon as possible; desk-based components for any proposals should commence before 1 July 2018, while any fieldwork should commence in the 2017/2018 field season. Total duration for the project should not exceed 24 months.”

Successful proposals might expect to receive in the order of US$ 50 000 - 100 000.  The closing date for applications is 27 June 2017.

Read more here.

With thanks to Mark Tasker.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 30 March 2017