Greenpeace: industrial krill fishing endangers the Southern Ocean
The fishing industry is jeopardizing the ecological balance of the south polar food web by expanding its forays into the Antarctic Arctic Ocean. This shows the new Greenpeace study "License to Krill".
In addition to this “mouth-eating” at the food base risky fishing practices threaten the survival of penguins, seals and whales: Outdated ships already lost large quantities of oil, fire broke out and a ship ran aground in the immediate vicinity of a penguin colony. Greenpeace calls for the designation of the world's largest marine reserve in the Weddell Sea. Industrial fishing would be prohibited in this location. "The sensitive ecological balance in the Antarctic needs protection," says Greenpeace marine expert Sandra Schöttner. "The Antarctic and its inhabitants suffer greatly from the global warming. Marine protected areas prevent krill fishing from entering the ice-free areas. "In 2017, Antarctic ice cover was lower than ever.
Krill, small shrimp-like crayfish, are the basis of the Antarctic food web. The industry portrays their fisheries as sustainable and well controlled. However, the data provided by Greenpeace shows that it takes place exclusively on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and mainly in the feeding grounds of the wild animals.
Unnecessary omega-3 caps deprive wild animals of the food base
The captured krill is mainly processed on board into fish feed, which is then used worldwide in aquaculture. The main reason for the expansion plans of the fishery, however, is the processing to valuable krill oil - making the industry the biggest profits. Krillöl is available as an omega-3 dietary supplement in capsule form. After the USA and China, Germany is the third largest market for it. With balanced nutrition, these supplements are unnecessary. "Those who eat healthily can give their food to the Antarctic wild animals," says Schöttner. "The marketing for Omega-3 pills is not too bad, even advertise on the packaging with emperor penguins." People with increased omega-3 need can resort to alternatives of linseed oil or based on microalgae.
Currently, Greenpeace is in Antarctic waters with the expedition ship "Arctic Sunrise" to get a picture on the ground - we reported (expedition_proves_marine_species). Scientific images of the seabed are to support the request for protection submitted on the initiative of the old German Federal Government. The independent environmental organization calls on the new government to assert itself with the Antarctic Commission CCAMLR for the protected area in the Weddell Sea against countries with strong fishing interests such as Norway, China, South Korea and Japan.