Krill is a keystone species in the Antarctic. Aker BioMarine has always considered it vital to protect the krill biomass as well as the many species that ultimately depend on krill as a food source.
STRONG REGULATIONS PREVENT OVERFISHING
All catches of Antarctic krill are reported to the Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). CCAMLR uses a precautionary, ecosystem based-approach designed to prevent fishing that will have a negative impact on harvested species or other species in the ecosystem. The management of the fishery is robust, as the consensus of 25 governments is needed to change any of the fishery regulations in the Antarctic.
Harvesting is currently concentrated in the South Antarctic (CCAMLR Area 48). The annual precautionary quota for Antarctic Krill set by CCAMLR is 5.61 million tonnes and amounts to approximately 10 percent of the total biomass in area 48. The catch is further limited to 620,000 tonnes in any one season until a mechanism is found to distribute the catch throughout the area. For the2015/2016 season the recorded krill catch for all vesselsfishing for krill was 225,646 tonnes and only 0.3 percent of the total biomass of krill in the South Atlantic.
LOOKING AFTER THE BIOMASS
In 2015, Aker BioMarine partnered with the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC) and WWF-Norway to establish the Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund (AWR). The fund’s purpose is to facilitate and promote Antarctic marine ecosystem research.
Last year, Aker BioMarine announced its commitment to support the Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund with USD 1 million over the next five years. Ongoing research is essential to Aker BioMarine and the company’s customers, the scientific community, and environmental-protection organizations.
Since its inception, AWR has funded in total eight research projects, with three projects receiving funds in 2015, two in 2016 and three in 2017.
“A” RATING FROM SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES PARTNERSHIP
For the third year in a row, the krill fishery in the Antarctic received an “A” rating for sustainability from the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, an NGO that advises industry, compiles industry data, and publishes an annual overview of reduction fisheries.
The Reduction Fisheries: SFP Fisheries Sustainability Overview 2017 analyzed 20 of the most significant fisheries used for the production of fishmeal or fish oil and assessed the sustainability of the current management regimes.
Similar to the findings in previous years, only 2.2 percent of the total catch volume of the reduction fisheries in this analysis came from stocks in “very good condition” and this corresponds to a single fishery: Antarctic krill - Atlantic Southern Ocean.
We at Aker BioMarine have openly shared our data and expertise to drive positive change in the entire industry and take the right steps to ensure that the fisheries take responsibility for the ecosystems in which they harvest. We need omega-3s for our overall health and the all hands on deck approach to sustainability helps us balance our work for improving human health with taking care of the environment.