Krill Companies Step Up to Protect Antarctic Wildlife

Conservationists are applauding krill fishing companies for voluntarily pledging to stop operating in large areas of Antarctica in an effort to protect wildlife.

Krill might be tiny in size, but they’re hugely important to the ecosystem, and provide a critical food source to a number of species living in Antarctica from fish and seabirds to penguins, seals and whales.

Unfortunately, the krill fishing industry is also big in the area and concerns have been raised that it’s putting krill, and consequently other species who are already facing other pressures, at risk.

Now, however, the industry is stepping up to do its part to protect wildlife. In an announcement made at Greenpeace’s Antarctic 360° event in the UK, a majority of krill fishing companies pledged to stop fishing in large sensitive areas around Antarctica, which will create buffer zones for wildlife who are dependent on krill.

According to Greenpeace, the companies are all members of the Association of Responsible Krill harvesting companies (ARK), and represent 85 percent of the krill fishing industry in the Antarctic. They’ve also pledged to support the creation of a network of marine protected areas, which would include areas where they operate.

Greenpeace has been campaigning heavily for the creation of protected areas in Antarctica, which would make the waters there off limits to industrial fishing, protecting krill that Antarctic life relies on, in addition to providing a safe haven for numerous other species from whales and seals to multiple species of penguins.

A proposal put forward by the EU to create the Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary, which would cover 1.8 million square miles, making it the largest protected area on earth, has so far garnered a lot of public support, but a final decision isn’t expected until the next meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in October 2018.

“The momentum for protection of the Antarctic’s waters and wildlife is snowballing. A huge movement of people globally has been joined by scientists, governments, celebrities and now even the companies fishing in the Antarctic. This is a bold and progressive move from these krill fishing companies, and we hope to see the remainder of the krill industry follow suit,” said  Frida Bengtsson, of Greenpeace’s Protect the Antarctic campaign. “This October, when the proposal is on the table to create a huge Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary in the Weddell Sea, politicians must know that the eyes of the world and the weight of history are upon them.”

Photo credit: Christian Ĺslund/Greenpeace

91 comments

Lesa D
Lesa D2 months ago

THANK YOU ARK!

thank you Alicia...

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John W
John W2 months ago

Thanks

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Danuta W
Danuta W3 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Sue R
Sue R3 months ago

Nice news.

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Elisabeth T
Elisabeth T3 months ago

Great news, thanks for sharing.

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Leo C
Leo C3 months ago

thank you for sharing!

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Lorraine Andersen
Lorraine A3 months ago

Nice to see a company that cares. Thanks for sharing.

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Berenice Guedes de Sá

Thanks for this great news!

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Marija M
Marija M3 months ago

Good news, tks.

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Sheila Miller
Sheila Miller3 months ago

Way to go!!! I wish all companies would show such concern and care for the environment.

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