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The main populations of Krill, shrimp-like crustaceans, which grow up to 6.5 centimeters long and form huge swarms, have moved some 440 kilometers to the south and thus leave penguins, seals, whales, fish and other animals without food. Animals of Antarctica
Krill moves south in Antarctica as the oceans heat up, disrupting supplies of penguin and whale food that are captured by industrial fishing vessels, scientists said on Monday.
The major populations of shrimp-like crustaceans, which grow up to 6.5 centimeters long and form huge swarms, have moved some 440 kilometers south in the last 90 years, they wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change.
‘It is often predicted that species will move towards the poles as the climate warms. It’s already happening with krill, “co-author Angus Atkinson, of the Plymouth Maritime Laboratory in England, told Reuters.
“The climate is becoming increasingly unhealthy for krill to reproduce,” he added. In 2015, under the Paris climate agreement, almost 200 nations promised to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
Krill is food for whales, seals, penguins and other predators.
Waters in the Southwestern Atlantic, home to the majority of krill, have warmed 1 degree Celsius (1.8 Fahrenheit) in the past 90 years, and populations are concentrating in a narrow band towards the coast of Antarctica, they said. scientists.
The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) considers krill to be among the most abundant creatures on Earth with an estimated total of 780 billion, excluding larvae and eggs.
“Our analysis reveals a species that faces increasing difficulties in recovering and maintaining high numbers in the extreme north of the Southern Ocean,” co-author Simeon Hill of BAS said in a statement.
The krill fishery around Antarctica peaked in the early 1980s with more than 500,000 tonnes caught per year, dominated by the Soviet Union, and fell to 237,000 tonnes caught in 2017, according to the Commission for the Conservation of the Antarctic Marine Living Resources.
“It’s a warning bell about future management,” said Atkinson.
‘The industry is doing everything possible’ to guarantee long-term sustainable fishing, Javier Arata, executive officer of the Association of Collecting Companies Responsible for Kril (ARK), told Reuters.
Members of the ARK include the unit of Aker Aker Biomarine in Norway, Insung of South Korea, China National Fisheries Corporation and Pesca Chile.
As of 2019, for example, the krill companies agreed to ban all fishing near penguin colonies, Arata said.
Krill is caught to make fishmeal or fish oil that is sold as a supplement to human health .