"Antartic krill fishing may be unwise"
It is not a good idea to engage in large-scale krill fishing near the South
Pole, thinks Dr Jan Andries van Franeker, an ecologist at Wageningen Imares. He
has just returned from an expedition to the Antarctic, where he studied the role
of these shrimp-like creatures in the food web.
Last November there was heightened media reporting on
the plans to fish for krill around Antarctica to make up for the scarcity of
fishmeal for farmed fish. 'I would be very careful,' said Van Franeker. 'Krill
appears to be a super-abundant source of food in the Southern Ocean, but it's
also the basis of an entire and unique food web.
Many whale species feed
on krill, but penguins – whose main source of food is squid – are indirectly
dependent on it as well.' According to Van Franeker, it is premature to conclude
that there is abundant krill in the Southern Ocean.To receive more animal feed news, subscribe here
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