Urge Norwegian Krill Fishing Company to Contribute to Antarctic Conservation

Target: Øyvind Eriksen, CEO of Aker ASA

Goal: Reduce krill fishing in Antarctica.

Antarctica, one of the world’s last great wild spaces, is being compromised as a result of industrial krill fishing. A Greenpeace study analyzed the movements of krill fishing vessels in the area and noted that the vessels are increasingly operating “in the immediate vicinity of penguin colonies and whale feeding grounds.” This means that the krill fishing vessels are adding human competition to the natural feeding cycle of these animals. The study also noted incidents of the krill fishing boats being involved in groundings, oil spills, and other accidents, which pose a serious threat to the Antarctic ecosystem.

Concern about the impact of fishing and climate change on the Antarctic ecosystem has led to a global campaign to create a network of ocean sanctuaries to protect the Antarctic seas. Furthermore, Greenpeace is calling for an immediate stop to fishing in areas that are labeled as sanctuaries. Frida Bengtsson, a representative for Greenpeace’s Protect the Arctic campaign, said: “If the krill industry wants to show it’s a responsible player, then it should be voluntarily getting out of any area which is being proposed as an ocean sanctuary, and should instead be backing the protection of these huge swaths of the Antarctic.”

Even though krill are very small organisms, they are the foundation of the Antarctic food chain. A combination of industrial krill fishing and climate change could have an adverse effect on the populations of larger predators. A study warned that in ten years’ time the penguin population could decrease by as much as one third as a result of changes in krill biomass.

There is a global demand for krill-based products, which are usually health products that claim to help a range of issues from heart disease and high blood pressure to strokes and depression. The krill industry is only expected to grow in the coming years. However, without any government in Antarctica, the responsibility for maintaining the ecosystem falls on all of the countries and companies involved in the industrial krill fishing industry. Since the 1970s, krill populations in Antarctica have declined by 80%. Unless changes are made, this decrease could continue and have adverse effects on the whole ecosystem. Sign this petition to urge Øyvind Eriksen, CEO of Aker ASA, to limit krill fishing in Antarctica and immediately stop krill fishing in sanctuary regions.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Eriksen,

As the CEO of a company involved in offshore fishing operations, you know how quickly the industrial krill fishing industry is growing. New countries like China are getting involved and countries like South Korea, who have had small fishing operations, are growing their business in krill fishing. The demand for krill-based products is growing as word of its positive health benefits spreads.

However, krill are necessary for the Antarctic food chain and without a large amount of krill biomass, other animals will suffer as a result. The entire Antarctic ecosystem is at risk if large companies like yours do not take a stand to protect it. I urge you to immediately stop fishing in sanctuary zones and to limit fishing in Antarctica to protect these fragile ecosystems.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Leonora (Ellie) Enking

Protect Recently Discovered Penguin Colony

Target: Jim Kurth, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Protect hidden colony of penguins in Antarctica in order to save the species.

A hidden colony of Adélie penguins was recently found on the Danger Islands of Antarctica, shortly after concern swept the ecological field regarding general penguin endangerment. Approximately 1.5 million penguins were discovered, enough to help downgrade the species to vulnerable and possibly save them from impending extinction within decades.

While this discovery is extremely welcome news, scientists are concerned that the existence of this colony alone will be enough for officials to declare the species safe. In truth, the protection of the area itself is also a major factor, as such spaces can easily fall victim to climate change-related dangers or overfishing. At the present, Danger Islands are largely safe from the effects of climate change and see very little human interaction. But the continued safety of this area requires funding and focus to maintain.

The discovery of this penguin colony is only one step in protecting the species. We must support the preservation of Danger Islands as a legally enforceable marine-protected area. Sign this petition to ensure that these birds will remain safe and their population healthy.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Kurth,

A colony of 1.5 million Adélie penguins has been discovered on the Danger Islands of Antarctica, answering the concern about the general endangerment of penguins on the continent. As of right now, the area is least suspect to climate change complications and sees very little human interaction.

But conservationists and scientists cannot rest easy. Despite the size of the colony and the safety of the area, it will not remain so without hard work and funding to ensure that Danger Islands will be a legally protected safe zone. We cannot simply assume that humans will stay away or that climate change will never touch them. You must help fund the preservation of Danger Islands as a legal safe space to protect this colony and ensure the survival of the species.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Jason Auch