Krill fishing industry retreats from parts of the Antarctic

Industry Association supports marine sanctuary in the Weddell Sea

The krill industry will stop fishing in large parts of the ecologically sensitive area around the Antarctic Peninsula and work towards a network of marine protected areas in the Antarctic.

This decision was announced by the industry association of the krill industry ARK on 9 July 2018 at a meeting of the Antarctic Commission CCAMLR in Cambridge, UK. "This is an essential step on the way to the world's largest marine reserve in the Antarctic Weddell Sea - and it comes at the right time," says Sandra Schöttner, Greenpeace marine expert. "Climate change and fisheries put massive pressure on the Antarctic seas." At the beginning of the year, Greenpeace had documented with a ship expedition particularly protective structures of the ecosystem and demonstrated on-site that fishing for krill endangers the Antarctic seas - we reported.

The industry commitment represents about 85% of Antarctic krill fisheries in terms of catch. These include companies such as Aker BioMarine (Norway), Rimfrost (Norway), Insung (Korea), CNFC (China) and Pescachile (Chile). For example, the companies want to comply with buffer zones up to 40 kilometers around brooding penguin colonies. Krill is usually used as fish food in aquaculture. However, the industry is making the biggest profits with krill oil, which is processed in nutritional supplements such as omega-3 fatty acid pills. However, a Greenpeace nutritional report shows that there are vegan alternatives like enriched linseed oil - we reported.

Antarctic marine reserve

In October, the Antarctic Commission CCAMLR decides on an Antarctic marine reserve five times the size of Germany. The proposal was initiated by the previous German Federal Government. However, the international commission can only decide unanimously - a single vote against from countries with strong fishing interests would make the application fail. Fisheries Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) said in a video message on the occasion of the event in Cambridge last night: "The Federal Government will do everything in its power to overcome any reservations our international partners may have." At the end of June 2018 the German House of Representatives (Bundestag) unanimously called upon the Federal Government to campaign for the Weddell Sea with all diplomatic means. Worldwide, 1.7 million people have already signed the Greenpeace petition to the CCAMLR, including Oscar winner Javier Bardem, who accompanied the Greenpeace Antarctic tour.