Penguins, whales, seals and more all depend on krill for their survival. But these small, shrimp-like crustaceans are threatened by both climate change and the growth in krill fishing.

Fishing for Antarctic krill is allowed in the Antarctic Ocean under the management of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). The fishery is often referred to as the best-managed in the world, and is focused on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Orkneys and the Bransfield Strait.

Despite that, evidence collected by Greenpeace shows a pattern of fishing activity increasingly close to shore and in the immediate vicinity of penguin colonies and whale feeding grounds.

Greenpeace’s investigation also outlines the regular use of transhipping, when a catch is transferred from one vessel to another. Tracking of krill-fishing vessels shows that they have anchored in protected waters, despite the recommendation that anchoring should be avoided as it can damage animals.

Greenpeace is calling for krill-fishing companies to restrict all fishing activity in areas under consideration as ocean sanctuaries. We are also calling on krill-buying companies to stop sourcing from vessels that continue to fish in these same areas.

Moreover, Greenpeace called for international collaboration between governments, companies and society to create a network of ocean sanctuaries, including in the Antarctic Ocean, to protect at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.

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