Antarctica is one of the most extreme, but remarkable, places on Earth. Cold, hostile and uninhabited by humans, it is home to birds and mammals, such as penguins, whales and seals, many of which are found nowhere else. The continent is an island, surrounded entirely by the Southern Ocean, which is often covered in ice but is biologically rich in marine life.
Critical to sustaining this unique ecosystem is krill, a small crustacean that is significant to the entire Antarctic food web. While generally not used for human consumption, krill are being caught at an increasing rate to be processed into feed for aquaculture and high value oils for nutritional supplements.
Krill in the Southern Ocean are managed by a Commission established by the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, a regional fisheries management organization, comprised of 25 nations, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, the European Union, China, Norway and Japan.
The Antarctic Krill Conservation Project is an international effort, managed by Pew, to secure from the convention an ecosystem-based management regime for krill, which is highly precautionary, scientifically-based and protects the unique environment of the southern polar region. Our primary partner in this campaign is the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition.