Scientific Research Plan- Call For Proposals 2018

Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund

Grant amount: US $50,000 - US $100,000

Anticipated deadline: May 31, 2019

Applicant type: Organizations Individuals

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Antarctica

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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The Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund supports funding to Antarctic research based upon our scientific research plan.

The plan has been developed by the AWR's Science Advisory Group, represented by scientists connected to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

The Principal Aims of the Scientific Research Plan are to:

    • Contribute to CCAMLR's work on the development of a feedback management system for the commercial fishery for Antarctic krill.
    • Design and implement a series of candidate scientific reference areas to monitor natural variability and long term change.
    • Design field and analytical methods for providing early warning signals about future ecological change.
    • Observe and evaluate signals of ecological change with a view to determining, to the extent possible, the causes of change, whether natural or anthropogenically induced.

      Research proposals submitted to this fund should focus on one or more of the research areas listed below, but they must clearly identify how the proposal will contribute towards the main objective of the AWR program and how the proposal will increase existing capacities for management.

      • Field-based krill fishery studies
      • Field-based krill ecology studies
      • Field-based predator studies
      • Desk-based modeling studies
      • Desk-based management studies

      You can find more details about the above listed research areas here.

      Sustainable Fishing

      Since the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) was first agreed in May 1980, it has been incumbent upon Members to conserve Antarctic marine living resources, whilst also allowing rational use. This has so far been taken to mean sustainable fishing. Under this Convention, fishery management must therefore prevent any fishery-induced change to the marine ecosystem, or minimize the risk of any such change, that is not potentially reversible over two to three decades. Therefore, when making decisions about potential management actions, CCAMLR must take into account the state of available knowledge (see Convention text).

      The commercial fishery for Antarctic krill is currently managed under a series of measures that are aimed at being precautionary. CCAMLR has initiated a programme of work that it is hoped will develop a feedback management approach, using decision rules to adjust selected activities (including for example, the distribution and level of krill catch) in response to the state of monitored indicators, while maintaining a precautionary approach and taking into account spatial and temporal ecosystem structure. 

      In undertaking such a programme of work, CCAMLR has recognised that there are many gaps in knowledge, but that monitored indicators might be used to: (i) provide advance warning about the potential risks of fishing and to advise on requirements for further precaution and/or focused future research and monitoring investments; (ii) adjust catch limits and the spatial distribution of catches; and (iii) characterise long-term changes in the ecosystem to facilitate strategic decision making.

      You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


      • Your research must fall under one of the research areas listed above.
      • Each grant should be for a specific piece of work.
      • Applicants should propose clear start and end dates and specific dates by which outputs and products from the research will be produced.
      • It is envisioned that any research and monitoring work supported by the AWR will build, incrementally, towards a new management approach for the krill fishery. Funded work should therefore support, rather than replace, the work of CCAMLR.


      • Preferred Research Projects For 4th Call - Critical knowledge gaps that might be preferred in the 4th call for project proposals could include:
        • At the XXXVIth meeting of CCAMLR, Norway informed the Scientific Committee of intersessional work by several Members to develop a multinational plan to complete a synoptic krill survey in 2018/19. Norway noted that several delegations are working to develop an initial survey design, which will be followed by a more refined multinational plan combining ship and land-based work to be presented at WG-EMM in 2018. To augment the scientific value and rigour of the proposed synoptic survey in 2018/19, associated work to enhance or extend either ship-based or land-based studies are welcome.
        • Spatial management of krill fisheries by CCAMLR has, to date, largely considered the demands of diving predators, including penguins. Information about the level of krill consumption by flying seabirds and fish, 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 still 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.
          • In addition, studies on the distribution and abundance, as well as diet variability and foodweb connections of krill-eating fish would be particularly informative for management.
      • Other novel or exciting projects, or relevant projects that take advantage of logistical assets of already funded projects, may be considered where they match closely with the aims of the AWR. Such projects should seek to inform the development of feedback management approaches.