Dispatches from Vitafoods Europe 2011

WWF on krill: "World’s largest under-exploited fishery"

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Krill

Krill provides only a small link in the omega-3 supply chain, but the sustainability of the Antarctic fishery is regularly brought under the spotlight, often unfairly says the WWF.

Krill fishery gaining sustainable consensus

While ongoing vigilance about the effect of fishing on krill, along with its predator species like fish, penguins, seals, whales and albatross, is required, the fishery is well-managed, according to Nina Jensen, the conservation director at the World Wildlife Fund, Norway.

“The krill fishery has been going on for more than 35 years…but we have seen an increase both in interest and catches over recent years,”​ Jensen said.

However, “the current catch is only 0.02% of the total biomass estimate making it the world’s largest under-exploited fishery.”

Perception versus reality

All krill players are coming together to ensure the safety of the fishery, said Matts Johansen, the executive vice president for sales and marketing at Aker Biomarine, the Norwegian krill supplier that catches about 50% of the annual catch of 210,000 tonnes.

Despite this management, Johansen said the industry had to keep battling negative perceptions of its activity.

“One of the biggest challenges we are facing right now is that the perception of the sustainability of krill is not matching the reality,”​ he said.

Jensen added: “There are quite a few dramatic stories circulating that aren’t really describing an accurate picture.”

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