Pew Environmental Group Disputes Aker Biomarine's New Sustainability Certification

September 17, 2010

Krill oil manufacturer Aker Biomarine (Oslo, Norway) announced last week that it has been granted permission to use the Marine Stewardship Council...s (MSC; London) sustainability label for the company...s Antarctic krill. Aker Biomarine produces krill oil and ingredients under the brands Superba and Qrill, and the MSC 'ecolabel' implies that the company only uses sustainable fisheries.

Krill oil manufacturer Aker Biomarine (Oslo, Norway) announced last week that it has been granted permission to use the Marine Stewardship Council...s (MSC; London) sustainability label for the company...s Antarctic krill. Aker Biomarine produces krill oil and ingredients under the brands Superba and Qrill, and the MSC 'ecolabel' implies that the company only uses sustainable fisheries.

But a leading environmental organization, The Pew Environmental Group (PEG; Philadelphia), says 'the certification gives the false impression that the entire fishery for Antarctic krill is sustainable when, in reality, it is not.'

PEG contends that a scientific consensus has not yet been reached to confirm the safety of Antarctic krill and its predators... population levels as influenced by krill fishing. "In its decision, the MSC ignored irrefutable evidence put forward by numerous stakeholders, including prominent Antarctic scientists, climate change and forage fishery experts, and environmental groups," Gerald Leape, director of Pew's Antarctic Krill Conservation Project (AKCP). In an official press release, PEG also stated that 'the overlap between the fishery and krill predators is increasingly well-documented.'

Meanwhile, Aker BioMarine points to its close relationships with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Norway for proof of its sustainability efforts.

"We believe that it is important to work with the most proactive players to ensure the continued sustainability of this fishery," said Nina Jensen, conservation director for WWF Norway, in an Aker Biomarine press release. "Aker BioMarine is the only operator in the krill fishery doing all the right things: 100% observer coverage, vessel-monitoring system, real-time reporting procedures, science and research contributions by allowing on board scientists at no cost, and economic participation in establishing a science fund."

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