whale Are our Omega 3 pills causing problems for the whales?

According to an article published by The Guardian, scientists believe that krill have declined 80 per cent since the 1970s. Why this has happened remains unknown, but it might be due to global warming. According to estimates made by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), there is roughly 100 million tonnes krill left, while krill harvesting companies place the figure at 400-500 million tonnes. The Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources allows 4 million tonnes of krill to be caught in the Southern Ocean per year. Until now, this number has seldom been reached; in a normal year, less than 20 percent of the permitted 4 million tonnes have been caught.

Today, the emerging interest in health products such as Omega 3 oil and Omega 3 fortified food is causing a boom in krill fishing. A majority of the fished krilled is used to produce Omega 3 oil and other health supplements, or as fish-farm feed. So called “suction harvesting” is now used to meet the demand for krill.

So, why care about a tiny crustacean? The truth is that entire ecosystems depend on krill and krill are also able to help us remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Some species, such as the gigantic Blue Whale, feeds directly on krill. Other species, such as penguins and seals, are indirectly depending on krill since they feed on animals that feed on animals that eat krill.

If you want to learn more about krill and hear different experts explain their view on the current situation, read the full article at The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/mar/23/fishing.food