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16. Pane} Discussion on Living Resources The panel consisted of Peter D. Oelofsen (moderator), Alexandre Kiss, James Barnes, and Yoon Kyung Oh. SUMMARY Mr. Gulland's presentation on the management of Antarctic marine living resources provided concrete examples of two subjects raised in Chapters 13 and 14 on the environmental management of Antarctica: (1) That a type of continent-wide approach, as suggested by Heap and Holdgate, is already being initiated with respect to marine living resources management based on the ecosystem standard adopted in the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR); and (2) That the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals and CCAMLR illustrate the preventive approach toward conservation, attempting to foresee and address problems that might arise once commercial exploitation of these species develops. It also pointed out how the contracting parties to the CCAMLR have sought to avoid mistakes made by the Inter- national Whaling Commission (IWC). First, they are attempting to acquire the knowledge necessary to estab- lish a solid foundation for management decisions before over exploitation occurs. Second, to get away from the IWC problem of a fluctuating balance between proexploita- tion and proconservation members, CCAMLR operates according to consensus decision-making procedures. seeking agreed objectives for conservation measures. In general discussion, the CCAMLR received strong support both as an effective mechanism for the conserva- tion of Antarctic marine living resources and, on political grounds, because it has dealt effectively.with 235
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236 opposing positions on national claims. Some participants cautioned against distancing fishery management objectives under the CCAMLR from the political priorities of the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS). As a resource management regime, it was noted that the continent-wide approach would have to be capable of coping flexibly with local and regional exploitation pressures. Questions raised by the panelists and the audience focused primarily on the implementation of the CCAMLR, still in its early stages. Various suggestions were put forward to help guarantee that its objectives were fully achieved. These addressed the following points: (1) Progress in adopting conservation measures and acquiring the data required to underpin them, including the possibility of allowing the krill fishery to develop as an experimental fishery and the role of SCAR's Biological Investigations of Marine Antarctic Systems and Stocks (BIOMASS) program; (2) A strategy for monitoring living resources; (3) The establishment of a CCAMLR inspection system; (4) Policies with respect to international organiza- tion observers; (5) Measures to avoid adverse effects of marine debris on living species; and (6) The possibility of creating whale habitat sanctuaries. REMAREtS BY ALEXANDRE KISS On the whole, KISS was optimistic that the ATS has and will develop legal regimes adequate to protect Antarctic ecosystems for the benefit of the whole of mankind. He endorsed the continent-wide approach of the ATS, stressing the need to treat issues as part of one interrelated system. Nevertheless, Kiss called attention to a certain paradox, as he saw it, between developments under the Antarctic Treaty and those under CCAMLR. Despite the fact that the Antarctic Treaty contained a fairly narrow basis for drafting regulations to protect the environment [Article IX(l)(f)], the consultative parties have turned their attention to this subject beginning at their first meeting. CCAMLR, on the other hand, provided a detailed mandate for enactment of conservation regulations; yet
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237 three meetings have produced fairly limited results. The first meeting dealt with important administrative rules, but it was not until the third meeting, in September 1984, that the first two conservation measures were adopted. These covered minimum mesh size regulations for nets throughout the convention area and a prohibition on fishing other than for scientific research purposes in waters within 12 nautical miles of South Georgia. Kiss reported that a third proposal to limit fish size did not obtain consensus and that no practical measures had yet been adopted on how to avoid entanglement of marine mammals, birds, and other nontarget species in marine debris, such as lost or discarded fishing gear. This problem, along with monitoring, will be considered at the fourth CCAMLR meeting, in September 1985. More- over, few steps have been taken toward implementing the inspection procedures provided for in Articles IX(l)(g) and XXIV of the CCAMLR. In Kiss' view, these achieve- ments fall short of the far-reaching aims of the CCAMLR. On the subject of data requirements, Kiss was critical of the fact that the CCAMLR scientists have to rely to some extent on data provided by the commercial fishermen. He believed that states have an important responsibility to collect and transmit scientific data to the commission because these data are indispensable for the preparation of regulations. Kiss warned against the danger of consensus decision- making procedures, which could allow a minority of voting members to paralyze the decision-making mechanism, but he noted that the caution and thorough discussion required to obtain consensus also favor sound agreement. At the same time, he expressed confidence that the CCAMLR Scientific Committee, composed of scientific experts, will help the commission to accomplish its tasks. REMARKS BY JAMES BARNES Barnes agreed that the CCAMER was a potentially valuable instrument, but he identified potential problems with it as well. He, too, was afraid that consensus decision- making procedures could allow fishing states that are members of the commission to block measures that restricted their fishing. In his view, this is already a problem in the Southern Ocean finfishery. He also wondered whether the commission would exercise the will to set national quotas. Although national quotas are not
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238 actually listed among the types of measures that may be adopted by the commission, it was his understanding that the commission could adopt them if it wished. With respect to the inadequacy of data available for rational decision making under the CCAMLR, Barnes believed that more baseline data, as well as a better understanding of the dynamics of the marine ecosystem, are needed. He reminded the group that a number of nongovernmental organizations have proposed that the Southern Ocean fishery be managed as a giant scientific experiment, with various closed areas, closed seasons, and use of the n indicator species" concept. He advocated more substan- tial international support for the BIOMASS program as another approach to helping to meet data needs. Barnes shared Kiss' regret that the inspection system called for in CCAMLR has not received much attention to date in commission meetings. On the subject of observer participation, he noted that the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition had requested observer status under CCAMLR in 1978. He stressed that conservation organizations wish to be involved in CCAMLR meetings, in keeping with normal international organization practice, in which represen- tatives from conservation groups may express views and circulate documents. In his opinion, policies with respect to observers will be important in helping to gain widespread acknowledgment of the legitimacy of the ATS. Finally, regarding whale habitat sanctuaries, Barnes noted that several species of whale are at one and five percent of their historical stock sizes and that Article II(2)(b) of the CCAMLR calls for measures to rebuild depleted stocks. He advocated giving attention to creating "marine protected areas" in order to preserve the feeding grounds of the great whales, and he was pleased that SCAR, at the thirteenth biennial meeting of the Antarctic Treaty consultative parties in October 1985, will recommend approval of marine protected areas, even if none of these is a habitat sanctuary. (Chapters 13 and 14.) REMARKS BY YOON KYUNG OH Oh expressed the Republic of Korea's support for the contributions of the ATS in facilitating cooperation in many fields of science among the countries active in Antarctica. He acknowledged the system's role in
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239 establishing a zone of peace, prohibiting military activities, protecting the pristine environment, and conserving living resources in the area. He said that the Korean government has sent ships to Antarctica four times since 1978 to conduct fishing activities and oceanographic surveys and that it plans to continue its surveys in the years ahead. He added that reports on these activities have been distributed to the parties to the Antarctic Treaty and to relevant international organizations. Oh noted his country's willingness to accede to the CCAMLR and to work together with the contracting parties to the Antarctic Treaty in promoting international understanding and peaceful use of the Antarctic con- tinent. He urged that the ATS be open to all new participants without reservation. (The Republic of Korea, which is not a member of the U.N., is in the anomalous position of requiring the consent of the consultative parties to accede to the 1959 Antarctic Treaty. See the discussions in Chapters 7 and 27.) DISCUSSION The discussion on progress toward adopting specific conservation measures for marine living resources turned on the two points made by Gulland in his presentation: the need for agreement among those concerned on the objectives of such measures and the adequacy of scien- tific and technical data on which to base them. There was general agreement that the process of formulating objectives and methods is an ongoing one that is important with respect to information requirements as well as to specific conservation regulations. The second and third meetings of the CCAMLR commission and scientific committee had concentrated on how to establish data reporting and analysis systems. _ The scientific committee had agreed that these topics deserved highest priority and that the formulation of objectives in this area would be extremely important, because effective implementation of the CCAMLR depends on capabilities to detect trends, changes, and potential changes in species populations and the surrounding environment. Debate over CCAMLR accomplishments to date and future prospects took note of the fact that the CCAMLR institu- tions had adopted some conservation measures at their September 1984 meeting, as noted by Kiss, and that the
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240 scientific committee, taking note of the assessment of fish stocks in the South Atlantic had agreed to recommend that states desist from directed fishing for a specific fish species (Notothenia rossii) in the entire convention _ area. On the other hand, lack of adequate data had pre- vented the scientific committee, despite intercessional meetings, from making certain additional recommendations regarding assessment. Some participants argued that the slow pace in imple- mentation of CCAMLR would discredit the convention and that the commission would be in no better position at its September 1985 meeting to make judgments on conservation measures than it had been in 1984. They questioned whether lack of political will, rather than lack of data, is the problem, and stressed that at some point commission members will have to proceed to adopt additional, substan- tive measures. One participant questioned why no interim conservation measures had been adopted and stated that there should be some discussion of the need for a mora- torium on the harvesting of certain species. Others countered that this assessment showed little appreciation of ongoing efforts to establish an effective assessment capability. They noted that stock assessment efforts are being conducted primarily with a view toward the 1985 meeting and that it would be a bad precedent if determinations were made in the absence of soundly based scientific judgment. (The 1984 meeting established ad hoc working groups on fish stock assessment and ecosystem monitoring. Workshops are to be held before the 1985 CCAMLR meeting.) Gulland endorsed this view, pointing out that the CCAMLR secretariat and the nations party to the treaty are working to collect more detailed data on fish stocks. He questioned whether any arrangement other than the CCAMLR would have been more successful in obtaining data, getting agreement on conservation measures, and pressing countries to adopt these measures. Elaborating on experiences under existing fishery agreements as a measure of progress in the implementation of CCAMLR, Gulland stated that a number of fishery com- missions have developed good data collection and assess- ment techniques. In fact, since the introduction of 200-mile fishery zones, coastal nations have found it difficult to carry out these tasks by themselves. Moreover, most commissions commenced work with a good storehouse of data. CCAMLR, on the other hand, started with virtually no data, so its progress to date is quite good.
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241 On the question of how much information is required to enable decision makers to be confident of a reasonably sound basis for judgment, Gulland alluded to the amounts of data needed for increasingly complex questions, such as, "Does a ten-million-ton krill recovery have a serious effect on whale populations?" He believed that the relevant question is rather whether the incoming data was up to the standard required by scientists; the answer for CCAMLR at this time would be that they are not. BIOMASS The Biological Investigations of Marine Antarctic Systems and Stocks (BIOMASS) program was commended for its data collection contributions to information needs under CCAMLR, and it was urged that the program be continued and expanded to include more cooperative international efforts. (BIOMASS will officially conclude in 1986 unless its life is extended.) National support for the program has varied in the past. The BIOMASS data are now being computerized and will be lodged in the British Antarctic Survey and be available for analysis. There was some discussion of Gulland's point that the respective roles of the CCAMLR scientific committee and SCAR are not clearly delineated. Some participants expressed doubt that the first and second BIOMASS expedi- tions, FIBEX and SIBEX, would have been undertaken by the scientific committee. The scientists pointed out that their work is driven by curiosity, although they recog- nized that at some point its results may have practical application as well. EXPERIMENTAL F ISHERY The discussion of developing Southern Ocean fishing as an experimental fishery contrasted the situation of Antarctic krill with that of finfish in the Southern Ocean. With respect to finfish, CCAMLR is in the same position as virtually every other convention whose objective is to conserve finfish species; that is, the negotiations take place after the stock is already seriously depleted (although the Southern Ocean stocks might not have been so depleted had there not been a rush to establish coastal state 200-mile zones of fishery jurisdiction elsewhere) .
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242 With respect to krill, the managers are in a position to make use of their time. Nonetheless, they could find themselves in the same situation as have other fishery commissions if they spend too much time deciding whether sufficient data exist and do not act until it is too late; there is time, but not an unlimited amount of time, to collect basic data and to design research programs. There are also good biological reasons to be more concerned with krill, because of its place in the Southern Ocean ecosystem. Moreover, the CCAMLR expressly adopted the ecosystem standard in its approach to conservation. . . . There is little doubt that krill pose certain diffi- culties for determining when conservation measures should be adopted. The classic means of data gathering and of studying species distribution and abundance for management purposes--catch per unit of effort and the monitoring of key indicator species--might not be applicable to krill. Specific interactions between krill and other Southern Ocean species would cause some difficulty in identifying sound management practices: krill is relatively short lived, and its position in the ecosystem is difficult to establish. The criterion of catch per unit of effort might not be particularly useful when applied to krill, because these figures would be distorted by krill swarm density as well as by the processing ability of the harvester. Acoustic surveys will be helpful only in small areas. Gulland suggested that a better method might be to see what distances a harvester would have to sail before encountering a new swarm; that is, to rely on catch per unit of fishing time rather than on catch per unit of effort. The breeding success of nonharvested, dependent species such as the albatross could also be utilized as an index of krill abundance, although albatross breeding success reflects other factors as well. For these reasons, the idea of a krill fisheries experiment was viewed as an attractive one, although no one was certain of the best way to get the information required to manage the krill fishery most effectively. It was suggested that the SCAR/IUCN symposium (Bonn, April 1985) might be helpful in answering this question. In addition, it was noted that the meeting of the ad hoc group on ecosystem monitoring established at the 1984 CCAMLR meeting (Seattle, May 1985) would look at what sorts of observations of penguins and other creatures would be required.
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243 Returning to the experience of existing fishery commissions, Gulland noted that the situations in which they had not worked well were those cases in which the stocks were already depleted and fishermen were being forced to reduce their catches. Another participant noted that most of these agreements had covered a single species. He wondered whether, with respect to single species--there might be some similarities with the current situation in Antarctica; that is, vested economic inter- ests would be affected. Gulland agreed with Barnes that in general the lack of accord on allocation of national quotas is a weakness, but he pointed out that many existing commissions do not themselves allocate quotas, leaving this to member coun- tries to agree on. What the CCAMLR commission might do is to determine a maximum allowable catch and leave it to the interested member countries to decide directly among themselves how to allocate this catch. Thus, he did not believe that the absence of national quotas is a funda- mental weakness in the CCAMLR. Another speaker reaffirmed Barnes' comment that the fact that the CCAMLR has not expressly provided for allocation of national quotas on the list of permissible conservation measures in no way detracts from the com- mission's full power to adopt any kind of measure, including national quotas, to attain its objectives. He explained that the impression that the commission does not have such competence derives from a misinterpretation of the report of the consultative meeting at which it was decided to initiate the negotiation of the CCAMLR. That report indicates that the agreement will not include national quotas on other forms of economic regulation. What this means is that the CCAMLR will not itself set forth entitlements to resources among its parties (e.g., as between fishing states or states with coastal claims in Antarctica). This is in keeping with the nature of CCAMLR, the purpose of which is to establish the legal obligations and mechanisms necessary to conserve Antarctic marine living resources. It was not intended--nor is it reflected in the text of the convention--that the commis- sion will be limited in taking measures including national allocations--that it believes necessary to achieve the CCAMLR objective. The list of possible conservation measures in the convention, which does not specifically mention national quotas, is illustrative, as indicated by the final point in the list: "the taking of such other conservation measures as the commission considers
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244 necessary for the fulfillment of the objective of this Convention" [Article IX(2)(i)]. Finally, according to Gulland, operating by consensus has not posed major problems for other fishery commissions. INSPECTION AND OTHER CCAMLR MEASURES Several participants shared the panelists' view that the commission should demonstrate that it is making progress on establishing a system of observation and inspection, as called for in Articles IX(l)(g) and XXIV. They pointed out that a lack of scientific data does not affect this issue. Gulland made a distinction between inspection and enforcement in commenting on the effectiveness of existing fishery commissions. While most commissions have estab- lished effective inspection systems, it is difficult to find any international agreement that is effectively enforced. Unless fishermen agree that conservation regulations protect their long-term interests reasonably well, the regulations are unlikely to work. Measures to ensure that marine mammals, birds, and other nontarget species are not adversely affected by lost or discarded fishing gear or other marine debris was cited as another substantive area in which the commission could act without waiting for additional data. On the other hand, it was noted that the adoption of a strategy for management and monitoring of living resources and the study of relationships with neighboring ecosystems, while important topics for the commission to consider, were in part dependent on acquiring data and outlining strategies to do so.
Representative terms from entire chapter: