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Aker BioMarine Krill Fishery Becomes MSC Certified

by the Fish Site Editor
16 June 2010, at 1:00am

NORWAY - The Aker BioMarine krill (Euphausia superba) fishery has been awarded Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification following a rigorous, independent assessment against the MSC standard for sustainable and well managed fisheries.

Products from this Antarctic based fishery are now eligible to bear the MSC ecolabel, identifying their origin from a sustainable source. Only products that originate from the Aker BioMarine fishery are eligible to bear the MSC ecolabel.

The Aker BioMarine krill fishery operates in the Antarctic waters of the Southern Ocean. The management of all fishing activity in the Antarctic is overseen by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) established in 1982 to protect and manage the extensive marine resources of Antarctica. Management rules and practices closely follow precautionary and ecosystem-based principles.

Catch levels for krill are set by CCAMLR based on the advice of their scientific committee to minimise risks either to the krill population or to species within the Antarctic ecosystem that rely upon krill as a food source.

At current levels, fishing pressure on krill is very low – less than one per cent of the most recent estimated biomass (estimated by CCAMLR to be 37 million tonnes). Aker BioMarine catches between 40,000 and 50,000 tonnes annually, from a total allowable catch of approximately 3.5 million tonnes. Total landings (by all boats operating in the area) for 2007/08 were 150,000 tonnes (approximately four per cent of the total allowable catch for the year).

Welcoming the certification, Aker BioMarine Chief Executive Halvard Muri, said: “As a company that is entirely committed to environmental sustainability, we are very pleased to achieve MSC certification for our krill fishery. This certification is a significant step in our continued focus on sustainability and on maintaining the health of krill populations and their ecosystem We hope that the MSC certification assures our customers that our Omega-3-rich krill oil products and ingredients were sustainably harvested, giving them the chance to vote for sustainability.”

the Fish Site Editor