Krill Kill

Core Marine Food Source Faces Depletion




Small, shrimp-like creatures that inhabit the world’s oceans, krill are one of the planet’s largest and least contaminated biomasses. The tiny crustaceans are the primary food source for a variety of fish, whales, penguins and seabird species. Krill are also used to make feed for livestock, poultry and farmed fish and in nutritional supplements—krill oil is a rich source of omega-3 essential fatty acids and less likely than fish oil to be contaminated with mercury or heavy metals.

Recent studies cited by National Geographic suggest that since the 1970s, Antarctic krill stocks may have dropped by up to 80 percent. Environmental groups and scientists worry that new fishing technologies, coupled with climate warming that removes ice algae, the crustaceans’ primary food source, could deplete krill populations and potentially devastate the Antarctic’s ecosystem.

Denzil Miller, Ph.D., former executive secretary of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, advises, “There are a whole lot of dominoes that follow afterwards that just look too horrendous to contemplate.” Concerned consumers can opt to avoid farm-raised fish; choose organic, non-grain-fed meat and poultry; and substitute algae-derived omega-3 supplements for fish or krill oil capsules.


Source: Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (asoc.org)

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Renewable Payoff

For a few hours last May, Germany’s renewable mix of energy generated so much power that customers were actually paid for using electricity.

Sealife Sanctuary

Greenpeace is working with the European Union and Germany to set aside an Antarctic sanctuary of almost three-quarters of a million square miles to protect whales, penguins and other wildlife.

Plumbing Progress

An innovative Australian project recycles discarded ocean plastic into 3-D printer filament, which is then used to make replacement plumbing parts in needy areas of the world.

Urban Trees

Tree cover works to reduce depression, improve productivity and lessen disease, yet four million city trees a year are being lost due to their low priority in municipal budgets.

Tree Tally

By digitalizing photographs and other museum records, scientists are closing in on the number of tree species left to be discovered in the Amazon rainforest.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags