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Krill has long been considered the cornerstone of the Antarctic food web. It is an essential food source for baleen and blue whales, seals, penguins, fish, seabirds and other marine creatures.
Although there is an estimated amount of up to six billion tonnes of krill in the waters around Antarctica, recent studies have shown that the Antarctic krill populations have dropped by 80% since the 1970s, mainly due to the rapid expansion of the krill fishery industry and to climate change.
Increased demands for krill products, such as krill oil as health supplements, have further accelerated the growth of krill fishery. Krill fishing vessels have expanded their operations in the immediate vicinity of penguin colonies and whale feeding grounds. This has precipitated a growing ecological crisis which is driving the various Antarctic animals into a ‘food war’.
For further interests, more information is available from The Antarctic of our sustainability hub.