Presentation of inaugural grant recipients at CCAMLR

The Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund (AWR) is happy to announce that the three projects named as the Fund’s inaugural grant recipients will present their projects at CCAMLR-XXXIV in Hobart the last week of October.

 Photo taken by Dr. Friedlander, who will conduct a long-term ecological study on the foraging behavior of humpback whales around the Antarctic Peninsula.

Photo taken by Dr. Friedlander, who will conduct a long-term ecological study on the foraging behavior of humpback whales around the Antarctic Peninsula.

– We are very glad with the quality of the proposals.  The selected projects will contribute substantially to our understanding of the Antarctic marine ecosystem, helping us to improve our knowledge on the interactions between krill and its predators.  Only through better understanding of the role of Antarctic krill in the Southern Ocean can we comprehensively protect the animals that depend on it for survival and ensure precautionary management of the fishery, said Dr. Rodolfo Werner, Scientific Advisor to the AWR.

Scientists from five different countries will study whales, penguins and krill thanks to grants awarded to three groups of researchers by the AWR:

Dr. Christian Reiss (US National Marine Fisheries Service), Dr. Raouf Kilada (University of New Brunswick) and Dr. So Kawaguchi (Australian Antarctic Division) will develop a new direct ageing methodology for Antarctic krill.

Dr Andrew Lowther, Dr Christian Lydersen and Professor Kit Kovacs (Norwegian Polar Institute), Dr Phil Trathan and Dr Norman Ratcliffe (British Antarctic Survey) will explore how brush tail penguins (Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo), key consumers of krill, rely on predictable aggregations of the small crustacean in order to successfully raise and fledge chicks during their austral-summer breeding seasons.

Dr. Ari Friedlander (Oregon State University) and David W. Johnston (Duke University) are conducting a long-term ecological study on the foraging behavior of humpback whales around the Antarctic Peninsula, focusing on how critical foraging areas relate to historic catches of krill in the region.

AWR invites CCAMLR-XXXIV delegates and secretariat staff to a lunch seminar introducing the scientific research projects funded by AWR in its first call for proposals Wednesday 28 October in the CCAMLR meeting room.

Mark Epstein, Chair of the AWR board and Executive Director of ASOC (The Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition), Dr. Werner, Dr Lowther, Dr Reiss and some of the AWR board members and scientists in AWR’s Science Advisory Group (SAG) will be present at the luncheon and introduction.

For more information:

Monica Hägglund Langen works part time as information advisor to the AWR. She will be attending CCAMLR-XXXIV and can be reached at info@antarcticfund.org or +47 90 85 51 40

Sustainability Director at Aker BioMarine, Marte Haabeth Grindaker serves as Secretary and press contact to the AWR. She can be reached at info@antarcticfund.org or +47 92 02 07 52