Krill are a very important part of Antarctic food chain – they are the main source of food for whales, penguins and seals. Not just that, krill consume carbon-rich marine algae near the water surface and excrete it in the ocean’s depths, thereby removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Therefore, a campaign to create world’s biggest ocean sanctuary in Antarctic waters to stop blatant krill fishing gained momentum in recent months.
The global campaign – spearheaded by Greenpeace and backed by 1.7 million people – had put massive pressure on the krill fishing industry and retailers amid fears it was endangering one of the world’s last great wildernesses.
Now major fishing companies responsible for almost 85% of krill fishing in Antarctica have announced that they will put a “voluntarily permanent stop” to their operations in key areas, including the proposed sanctuary and “buffer zones” around penguin breeding grounds.