Explosive Report Reveals Disastrous Impacts of Krill Fishing in Antarctica

woensdag, 18 Okt, 2023

Last week, the Associated Press (AP) released an in-depth investigative report into the destructive activities of the krill fishing fleet operating in the waters of Antarctica. 

The report - part of which was compiled in Antarctica aboard Shepherd Global’s vessel, the Allankay - revealed that a fleet of supertrawlers regularly put the lives of whales and other marine life at risk through their fishing activities. It also documented the concerning rate at which these supertrawlers are catching vast quantities of krill - the very cornerstone of Antarctic life - from an ecosystem already under immense pressure from climate change and loss of sea ice.

Sea Shepherd’s Director of Campaigns, Captain Peter Hammarstedt was interviewed in the article, saying  “Most people know sustainability when they see it,” says Hammarstedt, “and it does not look like a fleet of ships traveling thousands of miles, to the bottom of the world, to take out the very building block of life in the Antarctic ecosystem for products we simply do not need.”

Four whales were found dead in krill trawling nets in past seasons. Photo of a humpback whale in the Southern Ocean by Sea Shepherd Global.

As the krill fishing industry continues to try and push their unnecessary and damaging products onto a skeptical global market, the AP article serves as a further blow to an operation that is already under immense pressure from the scientific community, with many scientists around the world calling for an end to krill fishing in Antartica. 

Currently, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is meeting in Tasmania, Australia, to decide whether they should allow an increase in the krill fishing fleet’s quota - an idea that Sea Shepherd Global strongly disagrees with.

As Captain Peter Hammarstedt explains, “CCAMLR was established to protect the marine life within Antartica. To think that they would consider an expansion of the krill fleet’s quota - especially after a report like this has been seen around the world - is ludicrous. We're calling for a complete ban of this fishery. An expansion of the quota is only going to guarantee the continued demise of Antartica and its wildlife, and we can not allow that to happen”. 

Sea Shepherd Global’s campaign in Antarctica in 2023 allowed us to expose the krill fishing fleet, and last week it was announced that the Allankay would be returning to the Southern Ocean again in 2024 to confront the krill fleet.

“As long as Antartica needs us, we’ll be there. As long as the krill fishing fleet continues its destruction of the Southern Ocean, we’ll be there.” says Captain Peter Hammarstedt.

See the full AP report here: 

Captain Peter Hammarstedt gets a close look at the krill fleet in Antarctica last March. Photo by Flavio Gasperini/Sea Shepherd Global.