Krill go to Hollywood

Krill are largely unknown to the general public. But the shrimp-like crustaceans are about to get the Hollywood treatment, according to the Pew Environment Group.

When the sequel to the 2006 animated film “Happy Feet” opens in mid-November, actors Matt Damon and Brad Pitt will be portraying animated krill. Found in Antarctic waters, krill are the primary food source for penguins, the stars of the film. And if the original film is any indication, the sequel will deliver a strong conservation message.

Currently, the 30th Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is meeting in Tasmania, Australia, where its 25 member countries are considering further protecting the krill resource. Krill are used to produce fish feed and fish oil.

“It is perfect timing that two of Hollywood's biggest names are portraying the smallest actors in one of the world's most pristine ocean ecosystems,” said Gerald Leape, a senior officer at the Pew Environment Group. “Existing efforts to regulate krill catch must be sustained and enforced, so that animals such as penguins and seals are not competing against industrial fishing vessels just to survive.”

Pew is calling on CCAMLR to require observers on all krill-fishing vessels, establish a dedicated fund to monitor populations of krill predators and maintain smaller sub-area divisions of the ocean to manage krill.


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