After being challenged and re-evaluated in late May, Aker BioMarine on Tuesday announced that its Antarctic krill fishery has been officially certified as sustainable and well-managed by the Marine Stewardship Council.
The MSC called the move to put the fishery up for assessment “bold” due to the controversies surrounding fishing in the Southern Oceans and also on fishing low trophic species such as krill.
At current levels, fishing pressure on krill is very low – less than 1 percent of the most recent biomass. Aker BioMarine catches between 40,000 and 50,000 metric tons annually, from a total allowable catch (TAC) of approximately 3.5 million metric tons. Total landings by all boats operating in the area for 2007-08 were 150,000 metric tons, approximately 4 percent of the annual TAC.
The Aker BioMarine krill fishery operates in the Antarctic waters of the Southern Ocean. The management of all fishing activity in the Antarctic is overseen by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). Catch levels for krill are set by CCAMLR based on the advice of its scientific committee to minimize risks either to the krill population or to species within the Antarctic ecosystem that rely upon krill as a food source.
“As a company that is entirely committed to environmental sustainability, we are very pleased to achieve MSC certification for our krill fishery. This certification is a significant step in our continued focus on sustainability and on maintaining the health of krill populations and their ecosystem,” said Aker CEO Halvard Muri. “We hope that the MSC certification assures our customers that our omega-3-rich krill oil products and ingredients were sustainably harvested, giving them the chance to vote for sustainability.”All Environment & Sustainability stories >