China reaffirms expansion of krill production, much to conservationists’ dismay

A vessel in the Antarctic Ocean surveying krill.

Chinese companies and multinational krill exporters alike are extolling the health benefits of krill oil, heavily marketing the product to China’s aging population as a cure to many of the demographic’s ailments.

This advertising push comes amid an outcry from environmentalists, stating that geopolitical tensions have prevented the further protection of already fragile Antarctic marine ecosystems where trawlers harvest the tiny crustaceans.

Nevertheless, companies have continued to boast about the product’s health benefits at summer conferences around China while more quietly labeling processed Antarctic krill as a potential “gold mine” for the domestic seafood economy, with local governments promoting krill processing as a high-value industry. The municipal government of Qingdao, for instance, has set ambitious targets to develop .... 

Photo courtesy of Oda Linnea Brekke Iden/HI

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