One of the questions we get about krill oil regards sustainability. There have been reports, blog entries, etc saying that krill harvesting is endangering the antarctic ecosystem.
Turns out (like all too much of what you see online regarding nutritional supplements) the truth is a lot different than the hype.
Krill Are The Earth’s Largest Biomass
Lumped together, there is more krill on this planet than any other living thing. But that includes all species of krill, and for our purposes the important ones are the Euphausia superba species found in the Southern Ocean off Antarctica.
Even here, its estimated that the biomass of krill ranges anywhere from 170 million to 740 million tons, averaging around 420 million tons, with an annual reproduction rate of several hundred million tons.
Baleen sea mammals consume approximately 85 million tons of antarctic krill per year. Human krill harvesting is only around 150,000 tons per year. Hard to see how this number could be causing damage when it’s such a tiny fraction of the total.
Who Oversees Krill Harvesting?
The Antarctic krill biomass is under the management of an international organization of 25 countries called the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
The CCAMLR is the only official organization involved in maintaining and protecting the antarctic krill biomass. And they have NEVER forecasted a shortage.
In fact, CCAMLR estimates that the precautionary limit for yearly harvesting shouldn’t exceed 6.6 million tons. Which means that current harvest could be multiplied by over 40X and still not cause a problem to the ecosystem.
Conclusion: Krill Oil Supplements Are Highly Sustainable
So once again, facts trump the online rumor mill. It’s our belief (and we think that belief is very well founded) that commercial harvesting of krill oil poses no threat to the antarctic ecosystem.
Here’s where you can learn more about the krill oil supplement we recommend.