- Krill Sustainability Facts: Is krill oil a sustainable source of Omega-3 today and in the future?
Needless to mention, Antarctic Krill is the core source of superior quality of Omega-3 essential fatty acids as compared to fish oil. Krill is the largest biomass in the world. Its population certainly weighs more than the humans on the earth and is certainly exceeds the population of all the marine life put together. Krill biomass out numbers any other form of life on planet. Due to this fact, it needs to be well understood that krill cannot be scarce on the planet in the near future as well. Although Krill is food for whales, penguins and many giant fishes Krill harvesting is one of the most sustainable and well regulated practices on the earth and krill is not expected to go off the planet in the future based on current harvesting and consumption numbers.
Many studies have demonstrated that the population of krill ranges from 170 million to 740 million tons, having an annual production rate of million of tons. This reproduction rate ensures sufficient standing stock of renewable krill for both natural predators and human use. Since 1990, the annual krill harvest is approximately one tenth of one million tons. It is pretty clear that total krill harvesting has no impact on overall krill population. Harvesting of krill biomass is very well regulated under strict international precautionary catch limit regulations that are reviewed and reassessed on a regular basis in order to ensure sustainability.
Krill harvested for human consumption in the form of krill oil supplements is as less as 0.1% of the precautionary catch limits, as set by CCAMLR. CCAMLR stands for The Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. It is an organization that holds an international agreement between 25 nations that work towards the goal of preserving the species and thereby maintaining the stability of the Antarctic marine ecosystem. This organization came into force in the year 1982 to monitor Southern Ocean ecosystem. In order to maintain a sustainable supply of krill for the future generations, the CCAMLR has established a so-called trigger level. At present this trigger level is 620,000 metric tons. Also this organization that consists of 25 members from all over the world, have set a TAC (Total Allowable Catch). The TAC limit is set at four million metric tons that cover an area of four sub-seas. This is calculated after a part of krill meal goes for feeding the whales, seals and penguins. With the rules and regulations of CCAMLR, the krill biomass is well controlled and sustainable and humans can enjoy a life long supply of superior quality of omega-3 essential fatty acids derived from these powerful small crustaceans.