Recognizing the recency of establishment of the conservation principles in Article II of the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, and that no current analysis can be definitive or should pretend to be, the following preliminary conclusions stem from this paper:
1. The three principles of Article II of the Convention should be read as complementary guides in pursuing the overall goal of preserving the natural marine ecosystems of the Antarctic while also allowing some degree of harvest.
2. Sound implementation of the principles requires subdivision of the Convention area. The six baleen whale Areas designated by the International Whaling Commission are one possibility, but poorly justified ecologically. Priority should be given to identifying geographic divisions that rest upon a more sound and more finely-constructed ecological foundation.
3. Management indicator species and depleted species should be identified as soon as possible, and sampled periodically for appropriate life-history statistics in each agreed-upon subdivision of the Antarctic marine complex of ecosystems. The statistics appropriate for such monitoring are likely to vary with different species, and should generally be those parameters that are least sensitive to environmental fluctuations in general and most sensitive to changes in resource availability.
4. A substantial portion of each ecologically differentiated area should be completely protected from harvest and associated activities.
5. Harvest effort in portions of such areas open to exploitation should be regulated differentially, in order to facilitate assessment of the effects of harvest pursuant to an agreed-upon experimental design.
6. Harvest of krill and other species should be so regulated in any open area that the harvest is consistent with the maintenance or restoration of the harvested species, indicator species, and depleted species to levels of greatest net annual increment or above, defined with respect to initial population size.
7. Article II's principle of reversibility should address adaptive change resulting from artificial selection as well as ecological change. A methodology for correlating harvest practices with rates of reversal of the effects of harvest should be developed for harvested species, indicator species, and depleted species. No alien species should be introduced into Antarctica unless its existence there can be easily terminated.
8. As soon as possible, a limit should be placed on the allowable annual rate of increase of krill harvest by Man.
9. Basic research on Antarctic marine ecosystems should be enhanced, even though the research may have no obvious application to stable recruitment or to reversibility of change.