To Protect Penguins, Protect Krill—Marine Experts

Publication: Scientific American

Author: Deborah Zabarenko

10/28/2009 - To protect penguins on the rapidly warming Antarctic peninsula, regulators need to ensure the survival of shrimp-like krill, the base of the food chain at the bottom of the world, marine experts said on Wednesday.


Prized as a component of fish food and nutritional supplements for people, krill are commercially harvested by factory trawlers, and the annual catch of this species rose in 2008 to 150,000 tons, from about 100,000 tons in 2007, according to the Pew Environmental Group.

To protect krill and the Antarctic sea creatures that depend on them, the Pew Environmental Group urged regulators now meeting in Tasmania to require fishing vessels to spread out geographically and over time in the southern ocean.

"This would prevent the concentration of the fisher from significantly reducing the amount of krill available for key predators, including whales, penguins and seals," the group said in a statement.


Read the full article To Protect Penguins, Protect Krill—Marine Experts on Scientific American's Web site.

(All Fields are required)