Periodically, ASOC reports on developments in the Antarctic krill fishing industry. Because of the remoteness of Antarctica and the difficulty of processing krill, the industry has not grown as rapidly as others, but has been growing in recent years. Therefore, unlike species such as bluefin tuna or Atlantic cod, krill populations have not reached crisis levels and receive less media attention. Yet krill is so important to the Antarctic ecosystem that it is vital for those concerned with the Antarctic environment to keep an eye on the industry.
Krill are increasingly popular as components of fish meal for farmed fish or fish oil supplements. Compounding the problem are declines in krill populations due to climate-change induced changes in the amount of sea ice, around which krill swarms often congregate. The Antarctic ecosystem depends on krill, and numerous studies show that penguin and seal populations drop when krill populations decline.
Thus, as the market for fish oil and for farmed fish, continues to expand, it's critical to keep an eye on increased applications to fish for krill in Antarctica to ensure that catches leave enough krill to support Antarctic wildlife. Read more about what's going on in the krill fishing industry in our October Krill Industry Newsletter.