Call for Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund

The Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund (AWR) has invited proposals from scientists around the world to understand the krill fishing industry on the Antarctic marine ecosystem.

In order to develop a scientific understanding of the krill forming a major part in the Southern Ocean’s food chain, the proposals must pave the way for finding out the role of krill in the Antarctic ecosystem and the scientific basis for krill fishery management.

Currently, the commercial fishery for Antarctic krill is managed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

Mark Epstein, AWR Chair, said, “The creation of the Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund is crucial to expanding our knowledge of krill populations in the Southern Ocean. Through the work of the AWR, we aim to ensure adequate protections and management are put in place, and a healthy ecosystem maintained for krill and for the Antarctic species which depend on it.”

The proposals invited shall be evaluated and prioritized as per the guideline of the scientific research plan. The process will be supervised by the Science Advisory Group (SAG) of the AWR. The scientific research plan aims to support 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.

The proposals are required to be specific to the areas that are identified by the AWR. The areas are field-based krill fishery studies, field-based krill ecology studies, field-based predator studies, desk-based modelling studies, desk-based management studies. It is also strongly advised to look into the Scientific Research Plan before submitting the proposal as it would help in understanding AWR’s objective and criteria for evaluation. Each proposal invited will be evaluated on a numerical scale (0-10) by the SAG.

The application process begins on March 16 and ends on June 16, 2015. The proposals can be submitted in the order of USD 25,000 to USD 100,000.

Prospective applicants can fill the project proposal application form and submit with other important documents. The fieldwork must commence from 2015/2016 field season.

The funding is done in mostly two ways: one is the open competition advertised on the AWR website and the other one is direct funding. The first call for proposals might be allocated to the tune of USD 250,000.

The funds are raised and managed by BioMar, Blackmores, Dr.Mercola, Ridley and Swisse.

AWR was created in January 2015 by Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC), WWF-Norway and Aker BioMarine. They are the founding members since its inception. It aims to provide a platform between industry, academia and non-government organizations and promote research on the Antarctic ecosystem.

Interested applicants can click here for information related to the proposal.