Win for wildlife as krill fishing restricted in Antarctica
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
Photo show a krill fishing boat in the Antarctic waters of the Southern Ocean.