Entering into dialogue with WWF before we even started fishing for krill has ensured that sustainability has been a priority every step of the way; from developing eco-friendly technology and endorsing sustainable fishing practices to facilitating research on the Antarctic Ecosystem.
Aker BioMarine is recognized for its environmentally responsible Antarctic krill harvesting and processing. Achievements include our patented Eco-Harvesting technology that virtually eliminates by-catches. We have fully transparent and traceable operations, and MSC certification. In 2016, the Antarctic krill fishery, for the second year in a row, received an “A” rating by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership for having a krill biomass that is in very good condition.
Sustainable fishery management
The krill fishery in Antarctica is managed and regulated by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). Responsible for the conservation of all Antarctic marine ecosystems, CCAMLR practices an ecosystem-based management approach, rather than species-specific regulation. Harvesting is allowed as long as it is carried out in a sustainable manner and does not harm other ecosystem components. Currently, commercial krill fishing in the Southern Ocean takes place mainly in Area 48. The management of the fishery is very stable, as the consensus of 25 nations is required to change Antarctic fishery regulations.
In a united krill-industry drive, Aker BioMarine is promoting effective sustainability practices through the Association of Responsible Krill Harvesting Companies (ARK). Efforts in 2016 include the implementation of a voluntary no-fishing zone around penguin colonies threatened by climate change.
Sound research covering the entire Antarctic marine ecosystem is vital for Aker BioMarine’s business. Along with ensuring responsible harvesting of the Southern Ocean’s krill biomass, Aker BioMarine established the Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund together with WWF-Norway and The Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalitiion (ASOC) to promote and facilitate research on the Antarctic ecosystem.
Krill is a keystone species in the Antarctic and we see it as part of our responsibility to not only see it through that the biomass of krill is in good condition, but also the animals that depend on krill as a food source. This is why we established the Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund (AWR) in 2015 together with WWF-Norway and the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC), consisting of 30 NGOs interested in Antarctic Environmental protection. The mission of the fund is to promote and facilitate research on the Antarctic ecosystem.
So far, the Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund has supported five research projects that help conserve the Antarctic Ecosystem.