Selling in chains supermarkets and shops retailers of dietary products and fish such as farmed salmon made or fed with krill is leading to the “plundering” of the Antarcticaaccording to a report prepared by the Changing Markets Foundation, published on the occasion of World Krill Day, which was celebrated this Thursday.
Krill is a small crustacean that lives in Antarctic waters, capable of removing carbon equivalent to the emissions of 35 million vehicles a year from the atmosphere, which makes it a “fundamental” species for the health of the planet and the fight against climate change, explains the document.
Under the title “Krill, baby, krill: the companies that profit from the looting of Antarctica” («Krill, baby, krill: The corporations profiting from plundering Antarctica»), the report performs an analysis of the supply chain of the crustacean, which shows that krill oil dietary supplements are sold in 68% of the 50 largest retailers in the world.
In North America, it is on sale at 88% of the 17 retailers surveyed; in Asia, in 75% of the eight retailers surveyed; while in Europe in almost half of the 21 locations surveyed.
The document stresses that farmed salmon is fed with krill and is “regularly” marketed in 16 leading supermarkets in four European countries.
They all used feed made from krill — supplied by the Norwegian company Aker BioMarine, which accounts for around two-thirds of the total catch — in their salmon supply chains, although none adopted policies that would exclude the use of krill in feed. used to produce its own-brand salmon products, according to the Foundation.
This makes retailers and supermarkets “partners in crime” to exhaust the “major” food source of a “endless” of species such as whales, seals or penguins, animals already “extremely pressured” by global warming, according to Sophie Nodzenski, senior campaigner at Changing Markets.
The document denounces that those involved exhibit techniques that act as a “smokescreen” to hide the real environmental impact of their operations, such as the use of sustainability labels or certifications to wash the green image of their product (” greenwashing”).
The industry has pushed the narrative that the current catch limit is precautionary because it is “only 1% of krill biomass”in an Antarctic ecosystem “already unstable” by the acceleration of global warming, and which is being aggravated by the “destructive” the fishing of this crustacean, which scientists advise to stop, confirms the investigation.
Already the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommended producers to use alternatives to krill and also, the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Resources (CCAMLR) has tried to regulate – “unsuccessfully” – the industry of this crustacean, through the tightening of environmental protections and the designation of Marine Protected Areas.
For this reason, the Changing Markets Foundation recommends a moratorium “immediate” for krill fishing; urges retailers, feed producers and fish farms to remove “progressively” the use of wild-caught fish for aquaculture; and asks supermarkets and consumers to “stop sourcing and using” shellfish and dietary supplements with krill.