Russia invades Ukraine: how it happened
How krill fishing threatens Antarctic wildlife
STORY: The icy waters off Antarctica are estimated to contain up to 550 million tonnes of krill. also increasingly the target of human consumption. A growing krill industry has been scavenging crustaceans for use in fish oil supplements and fish feed. Scientists and conservationists fear this could further endanger Antarctic wildlife.[ DIRECTOR OF ANTARCTIC AND SOUTHERN OCEAN CONSERVATION FOR THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS, ANDREA KAVANAGH]“Antarctic krill is the keystone species of the Southern Ocean. Krill connects all the other species there. It is impossible to overstate the importance of krill. This perceived abundance has led global fishing fleets to target Antarctic krill. Vessels from China, Norway, South Korea, Ukraine and Chile ply the rough waters of the region from December to July. Under rules set out under the Antarctic Treaty system, trawlers must remain largely confined to four areas off the Antarctic Peninsula. And a seasonal catch is capped at 680,000 tons. But polar scientists say current limits may not go far enough to protect wildlife’s food supply. Some also say there are indications that fleet activity is harming wildlife.[ DIRECTOR OF ANTARCTIC AND SOUTHERN OCEAN CONSERVATION FOR THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS, ANDREA KAVANAGH]”For the first time ever it has been reported that there was a bycatch in the krill industry of whales, three juvenile humpback whales, and it is actually unknown how they may have been caught by these trawlers. continuous sucking. That is, they were definitely in poor physical condition. They were starving. Maybe they suspect that the humpback whales were actually following the krill trawlers to try to catch krill and somehow ended up taken in their net systems. But it seems truly disturbing that there have been three that have been caught this year when this has never happened before. The krill industry is expected to grow significantly over the next the next decade. Fish farming, which uses krill as food, is the fastest growing food industry in the world. And the market for krill oil is expected to reach more than $900 million by 2026. This is according to a report by Global Industry Analysts.[ DIRECTOR OF ANTARCTIC AND SOUTHERN OCEAN CONSERVATION FOR THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS, ANDREA KAVANAGH]“We are really concerned that krill fishing is too concentrated in certain areas around the Antarctic Peninsula. And that means they take a lot of fish in very small areas where all the predators are gathered equally. So we have huge colonies of penguins and the krill fishery is operating just off the coast of these colonies.” chick-rearing season. But even without competition from the fishery, the supply of krill is under increasing pressure in due to climate change. [GREENPEACE OCEANS CAMPAIGNER, LOUISA CARSEN] “We’re already starting to see a debate among scientists, you know, between climate change and industrial fishing, which has the biggest impact? But just like in our global oceans, it is the combination of different stresses that is so challenging for wildlife across the oceans and why we need to see these ocean sanctuaries and create these safe havens for wildlife.