09/01/2010 - The humble Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) bears a heavy burden. It may be just a small, shrimp-like crustacean, but its sheer abundance makes it one of the largest protein sources on Earth, eagerly sought by fish, penguins, whales — and man.
Ecologists are now warning that the rapid growth in krill fishing is adding to the pressure of environmental changes threatening the creatures, and are calling for better monitoring and precautionary management of krill fisheries.
In May, Aker Biomarine's krill fishing was certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a London-based organization that aims to promote sustainable fishing practices by allowing catch from MSC-certified fisheries to be labelled as such (see 'Grabbing a bite'). The Pew Environment Group, an environmental advocacy group based in Washington DC, has objected to this, arguing that fishing for fishmeal should not be eligible for MSC certification. The row will come to a head at the October meeting of the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), an international body responsible for managing the fisheries in the Southern Ocean.
Read the full article, Ecologists Fear Antarctic Krill Crisis on the Nature Web site.