The ‘A’ rating in the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership reduction fisheries report - which looked at 26 reduction fishery stocks worldwide - means its Antarctic krill fishery is in 'very good condition'.
This good news comes just days after new international research led by The Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (IMR), found more krill in the Antarctic Peninsula than was found in the last major krill survey in 2000.
According to the report, in 2018 about 310,000 tonnes of krill was harvested, representing half the permissible quota and less than 0.5 percent of the biomass.
Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) exists within a narrow band of cold water temperatures (up to ~5°C) and is an important part of the Antarctic ecosystem as it is a key food source for many marine animals but it is harvested for supplements for humans as it is a rich source of high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
The IMR report was discussed at the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) committee meeting in Hobart, Tasmania, last week.
Runa Haug Khoury, sustainability director for Aker BioMarine, attended the meeting and said the committee agreed current catch quotas and voluntary restrictive zones are working.
“The report’s result is very good news and confirms that the biomass is healthy and voluntary measures are working. This does not change the quota but it underpins that the fisheries are sustainable,” she told NutraIngredients.
“Aker BioMarine is committed to conserving the krill eco-system for both human and planetary health. These new krill population estimates show that the conservation measures driven by the CCAMLR community of regulators, scientists and efforts by industry are working well to sustain healthy krill levels.
“To us, it makes no sense to take something out of the ocean to improve world health, if it simultaneously compromises the health of the ocean.”
Norway, China, Korea, Ukraine and the United Kingdom collaborated with the Association of Responsible Krill fishing companies (ARK) to make the large-scale survey possible through a considerable fleet effort.