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Majority of Krill Fishing Companies Back Call to Protect Antarctic Ocean.

A Greenpeace campaign to protect the Antarctic Ocean, backed by 1.7 million people globally, has received support from the vast majority of krill fishing companies operating in Antarctic waters. The move was announced at Greenpeace's Antarctic 360[degrees] event in Cambridge, U.K.

This announcement means nearly all krill companies operating in the Antarctic will voluntarily stop fishing in areas around the Antarctic Peninsula, including"buffer zones" around breeding colonies of penguins, to protect Antarctic wildlife. Krill is a small crustacean which is a keystone species in the Antarctic food web, eaten by penguins, seals, whales and other marine life.

The companies have also pledged to support the scientific and political process for the creation of a network of large-scale marine protected areas in the Antarctic, including areas in which they currently operate. The companies are all members of the Association of Responsible Krill harvesting companies (ARK) and represent 85% of the krill fishing industry in the Antarctic. ARK member companies include Aker BioMarine, CNFC, Insung, Pescachile, and Rimfrost.

"The momentum for protection of the Antarctic's waters and wildlife is snowballing," said Frida Bengtsson, of Greenpeace's Protect the Antarctic campaign. "A huge movement of people globally has been joined by scientists, governments, celebrities, and now even the companies fishing in the Antarctic. This is a bold and progressive move from these krill fishing companies, and we hope to see the remainder of the krill industry follow suit."

Kristine Hartmann, executive vice president at Aker BioMarine, the largest krill fishing company in the world, said, "Safeguarding the Antarctic ecosystem in which we operate is part of who we are. Our ongoing dialogue with ARK members, scientists, and the community of environmental NGOs, including Greenpeace, is what makes additional efforts like this possible. We are positive that ARK's commitment will help ensure krill as a sustainable and stable source of healthy omega-3s for the future."

"Through our commitment we are showing that it is possible for no-fish zones and sustainable fisheries to co-exist," Ms. Hartmann added. "Our intention with this commitment is to support CCAMLR's (Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) work on establishing a network of large-scale science-based marine protected areas in the Antarctic."

Antarctic scientists are drawing up the technical plans for marine protected areas in the Antarctic Ocean, one of which is expected to cover around 1.8 million square kilometers in the Weddell Sea. The final decision will be taken by the CCAMLR in October 2018, when it convenes in Hobart, Tasmania.

"This October, when the proposal is on the table to create a huge Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary in the Weddell Sea, politicians must know that the eyes of the world and the weight of history are upon them,"Ms. Bengtsson added.

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Title Annotation:Industry News
Publication:Nutraceuticals World
Date:Sep 1, 2018
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