Win for wildlife as krill fish­ing re­stricted in Antarc­tica

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - WORLD -

SYD­NEY: Five ma­jor krill fish­ing firms have agreed to halt op­er­a­tions across huge swathes of the Antarc­tic to help pro­tect wildlife in a move hailed as ‘bold and pro­gres­sive’ by con­ser­va­tion­ists.

The vast con­ti­nent is home to pen­guins, seals, whales and other ma­rine life with krill a sta­ple food for many species. But a com­bi­na­tion of cli­mate change and in­dus­trial-scale fish­ing has been hit­ting pop­u­la­tions of the small crus­tacean, with po­ten­tially dis­as­trous im­pacts on larger preda­tors.

Now the five com­pa­nies that make up the As­so­ci­a­tion of Re­spon­si­ble Krill Har­vest­ing (ARK) — from Nor­way, Chile, South Korea and China — have agreed to stop fish­ing in sen­si­tive coastal ar­eas.

They also threw their sup­port be­hind a planned net­work of ma­rine pro­tected ar­eas (MPAs) through­out the South­ern Ocean, in­clud­ing in places where they cur­rently op­er­ate.

“Our mem­bers agree that the in­dus­try must de­velop sus­tain­ably to en­sure long-term vi­a­bil­ity of the krill stocks and the preda­tors that de­pend on it,” ARK said in a state­ment. — AFP

— AFP photo

Photo show a krill fish­ing boat in the Antarc­tic wa­ters of the South­ern Ocean.

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