Nothing but krill will fill the bill

Krill look exotic, with colourful shells and big dark eyes. But krill don't live in Africa or South America. Quite to the contrary, they are the most important creatures in the waters around the South Pole. Consequently, we need to take very good care of them.

03. sep 2007 00:00

Krill, mørk bakgrunn. FOTO: STEIN JOHNSEN/SAMFOTO, NYSGJERRIGPER 3-07PHOTO: STEIN JOHNSEN/ SAMFOTO

Whales, penguins, octopi, seals, seabirds and fish all love to eat the tiny crustaceans which resemble shrimp. What is more, they are completely dependent on krill to get enough food and thus to survive.

Live in dense schools

Now man is finally recognising the advantages of krill. For example, we can feed them to farmed fish. Krill is one of the most abundant animals on earth. Krill spend most of their lives living in vast dense schools that can stretch for several kilometres in every direction. This makes it easier for fishermen to catch krill.

Tipping the balance in the ocean?

What happens if we fish too much krill? Researchers are concerned. If we humans take too much krill from the ocean, our actions could have serious consequences for other species of animals. We could upset the balance in the ocean.

Surveys around the South Pole

During International Polar Year, the research vessel G.O. Sars will investigate how much krill there are in Antarctica, that is, around the South Pole. Once we know the answer, we can be more certain about how safe it is for humans to harvest krill from the ocean.

Translated by Linda Sivesind

*Published in 'Nysgjerrigper' no. 3-07.*