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Sustainability of Antarctic Krill Oil

Wednesday April 9, 2014 at 8:31am
Sustainability of Antarctic Krill Oil

Omega-3s are some of the most sought after nutritional ingredients in the world but due to widespread over fishing of natural fish stocks which have endangered many species of marine life, marine-based Omega-3 options are becoming a major concern for consumers who are now more aware and conscious of sustainability.

A supplier following the strictest sustainability protocols

Just Vitamins' chosen source of Antarctic Krill Oil is Superba™ which is harvested by Aker BioMarine - a company who has sustainability at its core.

Krill is a keystone species in Antarctica

Krill makes up the largest biomass in the world which means they make up a greater mass than even us humans. It is a small crustacean which grows to a length of 6 centimetres (2.4 in), weighs up to 2 grams (0.071 oz), and can live for up to six years.

It is a vital part of the Antarctic ecosystem as it provides an important food source for whales, seals, squid, fish, penguins, albatrosses and many other species of birds. Simply put if krill were to be wiped out many of the species who rely on krill as a food source would become endangered. As a sustainable supplier of krill oil, the future of the animals that depend on krill as a primary food source is paramount to Aker BioMarine.

Antarctic krill fishery is one of the most sustainably managed in the world

The Antarctic krill fishery has been a source of controversy for several years, mainly because of the perception that it is not sustainable. However, based on several studies and research reports many experts have found the opposite to be true – that the Antarctic krill fishery is actually one of the most sustainably managed in the world. Read the full scientific report by By Stephen Nicol, PhD.

Aker BioMarine have used all their experience of krill harvesting since 2003 to develop a patent pending Eco-Harvesting® technology. This technology comprises of a specially designed trawl system and hose connection between the trawl and the vessel. A special mechanism singles out unwanted by-catch (non-krill species) and releases it unharmed. When krill is pulled out of the water it essentially self-destructs before it can be processed due to the presence of highly digestive enzymes in its body.  This specialised technology ensures that the krill is brought live and fresh directly into the factory vessel, which allows for processing of fresh raw material with superior product quality.

Working closely alongside the WWF and MSC

Aker BioMarine work together with WWF-Norway to ensure sustainable management of krill in the Southern Antarctic Ocean. WWF-Norway have commended Aker BioMarine for achieving Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification of its krill fishery, and its commitment to assist with further research to ensure the fishery is sustainably managed.

As a further illustration of its sustainability commitment, the company also donates the use of one of its krill fishing vessels for 1 week each year to be used purely for scientific research. They have recently completed a 4 year study on the impact of its fishery on predator species that consume krill which was reviewed by WWF-Norway and the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-Operative Research Centre.

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