New study finds Antarctic krill biomass is in good shape

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New large-scale Antarctic krill survey confirms healthy and large marine resource.

In a press release, Aker BioMarine writes that new international research surveying the krill biomass around the Antarctic Peninsula has found more krill than was found in the last large-scale krill survey conducted in the year 2000.

Aker BioMarine’s is the world’s leading catcher and harvester of krill in the Antarctic Ocean, which it uses to produce its own nutrient-rich feed ingredient. Krill are also added to salmon feed such as Biomar’s Quick.

The findings and analysis at the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) annual meeting confirms 62,6 million tonnes of krill in Area 48 off the Antarctic peninsula. This survey carried out by the Institute of Marine Research is the first large-scale scientific investigation of the krill population in the Southern Ocean fishery in 19 years. In 2000, scientists measured 60.3 million tonnes of krill.

Pål Skogrand, Director Antarctic Affairs, Aker BioMarine said: “These new estimates confirm that the Antarctic krill biomass is in good shape and that the krill fishery is built on a very solid foundation. These results are also a credit to CCAMLR having managed Antarctic krill in a sound and precautionary way since the early 1980s.”

This new biomass finding will contribute to an updated and important benchmarking of the krill population. The current CCAMLR precautionary catch limit for krill in Area 48 is 620 000 tonnes, which makes up less than 1% of the newly estimated biomass. The krill industry total catch ranges between 230 000 to 390 000 tonnes annually over the last 3-4 years, well below the permissible catch limit. Norway, China, Korea, Ukraine and the United Kingdom collaborated with the Association of Responsible Krill Harvesting Companies (ARK) to make the large-scale survey possible through a considerable fleet effort.

“The krill stock is in a healthy condition, largely stable in distribution and density over almost 20-year period and remains one of the best managed and underutilized marine resources in the world. ARK has been an advocate for the international krill survey to make sure we have the scientific data in place to keep the krill fishery as one of the most precautionary fisheries in the world,” said Javier Arata, Executive Officer, Association of Responsible Krill Harvesting Companies.

“There is a potential in krill if you do things the right way and are willing to invest in science and sustainability. Going forward, Aker BioMarine will continue to be a positive force in the management of krill in the Southern Ocean, side by side with the international community of states, scientists and NGOs,” Skogrand added.