Support for changes in Antarctic krill harvesting

16-07-2018 | |
Support for changes in Antarctic krill harvesting. Photo: Wikipedia
Support for changes in Antarctic krill harvesting. Photo: Wikipedia

Representatives from the seafood industry, including BioMar, and conservation groups have agreed to support the creation of marine protected areas, including large no-fishing zones in the Antarctic.

The Greenpeace led retailer roundtable event was held in conjunction with their Antarctic 360 event in Cambridge, UK, attended by scientists and Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem, who joined Greenpeace’s expedition to the Antarctic in January 2018.

Bold and progressive move

Krill is a natural source of essential nutrients in the diet of many marine species from penguins and whales to salmon and shrimp. It is important to BioMar that the world supply of krill is harvested responsibly and that the fisheries and companies supplying this essential ingredient have been certified by MSC which is currently the strictest certification programme for marine harvesting. BioMar sources MSC certified Antarctic krill from their supplier Aker BioMarine who initiated the commitment which has been hailed as “unprecedent” by Frida Bengtsson of Greenpeace’s Protect the Antarctic campaign. “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 Bengtsson.

Stop fishing in Antarctic Peninsula

This major announcement from a group of the largest krill fishing companies will see nearly all krill companies operating in the Antarctic voluntarily stop fishing in huge areas around the Antarctic Peninsula, including ‘buffer zones’ around breeding colonies of penguins, to protect Antarctic wildlife. The fishing companies are all members of the Association of Responsible Krill harvesting companies (ARK), and represent 85% of the krill fishing industry in the Antarctic.

Shared vision of sustainable aquaculture

BioMar having already achieved their sustainability KPI of 100% MSC certified krill, welcomes the scientific and political process for the creation of a network of large-scale marine protected areas in the Antarctic. “Sourcing krill can be done at safe levels that considers the Antarctic ecosystem and marine species that rely on it as an essential nutrient in their diet. This initiative further strengthens the sustainability and precautionary practising shown by our supplier Aker BioMarine. The overwhelming support for this commitment up and down the value chain shows just what can be achieved when we collaborate together under the shared vision of a sustainable aquaculture industry,” said Vidar Gundersen, BioMar Global Sustainability Director.

The final decision will be taken by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in October 2018, when it convenes in Hobart, Tasmania.

[Source: BioMar press release]

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Emmy Koeleman Freelance editor