It acts as a thermostat for the entire planet and plays a critical role in regulating our climate. It is home to a spectacular array of wildlife found nowhere else in the world.
This Austral summer, Bob Brown Foundation in collaboration with Sea Shepherd are in the Antarctic Peninsula to expose and document the destructive krill fishery and to show how we, as consumers, might inadvertently be part of Antarctica’s destruction.
Krill is the keystone species of the Antarctic ecosystem. Most of Antarctica’s animals, such as penguins, whales and seals rely either directly or indirectly on these tiny creatures.
However gigantic industrial trawlers are hoovering krill out of the Southern Ocean at a frightening rate and they catch them right where penguins and whales expect to find krill to eat and survive.
These same animals, lured by a trawling net with masses of krill, can become entangled and even killed. Last year alone, three humpback whales died in krill fishing nets.
Krill, on which so many animals rely, are caught by these mega trawlers for products such as farmed fish feed, pet food and even supposed “health products” in the form of krill oil capsules. The ramifications of the depletion of a healthy Antarctic krill population will reverberate right up the food chain.
It may surprise you to know that it’s very likely that Antarctic krill is on the shelf at your nearest pharmacy or supermarket. It can even be in the pet food that you feed your cat or dog. We are calling for everyone to boycott krill products. It is an environmental crime to destroy healthy populations of these keystone species, especially when krill oil can be easily replaced with plant-based omega oils.
The Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic and Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) will meet this October, where they will discuss the potential of raising the catch limit of krill.
Delegates from all over the world will be in Hobart to make this decision.
We need to tell Anthony Albanese and Tanya Plibersek that they can be the voice of reason amongst nations and prevent more krill from being hoovered out of the southern ocean.