Consumers are learning more and more about the amazing health benefits of krill oil, which has become a popular choice as an excellent supplemental source of omega-3 fatty acids. Krill oil supplement sales continue to grow as the omega-3 market expands. Because of this, conservation-minded people are asking: just what is the state of krill sustainability today? And what does the future hold for these tiny, but tenacious crustaceans and the krill oil supplement industry?
Small Krill vs. Large Krill
Although the krill itself is very small, the entire krill biomass is huge. Current estimates place the Antartic krill biomass at around 500 – 600 million tons, making it one of the largest collections of plankton in the world. Out of the 85 species of krill, the Antarctic Ocean krill called Euphausia Superba is the type harvested for human nutritional products. The annual krill harvest in this region is strictly controlled by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), an international and independent organization regulating krill fisheries. For the sustainability of the species, and recognizing that krill are also an important food source to Antarctic fish, birds and mammals, the CCAMLR has sets strict limits on how and how much krill can be caught. The CCAMLR also limits the number boast allowed to fish krill by requiring every fishing boat to be licensed. Only about 7- 8 operators currently fish krill in Antarctica each year
The krill catch limit is now set at only 2.07 percent of the total biomass. This limit, however, has never been reached.Today’s annual Antarctic krill harvest is actually much lower than this figure – only 0.06 % of the total quota of 2.07% is harvested. Despite the growing popularity of krill oil supplementation, these recent estimates place the current krill harvest well under the allowable limit set by the CCAMLR. In fact, some scientists claim that Antarctic krill is still one of the world’s most underexploited marine resources.
“It is the most regulated fishery in the world,” says Neptune’s own oceanographer, Luc Rainville. As the director of scientific and regulatory affairs. He closely monitors all activities related to krill sustainability.
Neptune’s Commitment to Sustainability
Because krill oil is such a rapidly growing market, most companies and corporations involved in this industry agree that a happy future for responsible management of krill sustainability requires cooperation and involvement.
At Neptune, we are proud of our continued commitment to the conservation and sustainability of the Antarctic krill population. Our fisheries are governed by the CCAMLR and we have earned the valued Friend of the Sea certification for our sustainable and respectful krill harvesting practices. FOS is a non-profit NGO whose mission is the conservation of the marine habitat. FOS audits fishing vessels and ensures the international guidelines are respected. FOS has been selected by omega-3 producers worldwide as the most independent and reliable sustainability certification.
You can be assured that we care as much as you do about the Antarctic environment and the sustainability of krill, both for today and for the future.