There have been a number of major international science initiatives in Polar Regions since the first International Polar Year (IPY) in 1882-83 and all have had a major influence in overhauling our understanding of global processes in these important areas. These initiatives have involved an intense period of interdisciplinary research, collecting a broad range of measurements that provide a snapshot in time of the state of the polar regions. The last such initiative was the International Geophysical Year in 1957-58, involving 80 000 scientists from 67 countries. Fifty years on, an IPY is being held in 2007-08 to promote global collaboration and use of modern technologies to gain a better understanding of the Earth's polar regions. IPY 2007-08 also affords an opportunity to engage the upcoming generation of young Earth System scientists and to get the public to realise just how much the cold ends of the sphere we all live on really do influence us. To ensure that researchers get the opportunity to work in both polar regions or work summer and winter if they wish, the Polar Year runs from March 2007 to March 2009 (see http://www.ipy.org).
CCAMLR Member countries are participating in large-scale research in Antarctic waters during IPY 2007-08, including acoustic studies and surveys of krill, pelagic fish and plankton; surveys of demersal fish, squid and large macro-invertebrates; and sampling for the Census of Antarctic Marine Life.
The CCAMLR-IPY Steering Committee has developed a set of sampling protocols for CCAMLR-related activities conducted during IPY. The sampling protocols cater for a wide range of activities, from dedicated research to opportunistic sampling. Protocols were developed for acoustic sampling, plankton sampling and CTD profiles. The protocols are outlined in the report of the CCAMLR-IPY Steering Committee and IPY participants are encouraged to follow the sampling protocols when conducting CCAMLR-related activities.
In addition, the CCAMLR-IPY Steering Committee recommended that IPY participants involved in CCAMLR-related activities consult the protocols developed for the CCAMLR-2000 synoptic survey of krill in Area 48 (acoustic sampling, RMT1 sampling, RMT8 sampling, CTD sampling, survey design) and the krill sampling methods described in CCAMLR’s Scientific Observers Manual (see Part III, Sections 1 to 4).