Hide this
 

Scare Tactics Against Krill Oil Proven Inaccurate

February 28, 2009 | 60,844 views
Share This Article Share

Krillby Dr. Mercola

Over the past few months, news sources like Times Online have warned that krill oil consumption by health-conscious consumers may be endangering wildlife due to over-harvesting, citing incomplete information reported by National Geographic.

Naturally, this idea has many krill oil consumers worried. Are we stealing the main food staple of hundreds of birds and marine animals and causing the whales to starve?

If this were true -- I would stop selling krill in a nanosecond, but nothing could be further from the truth.

As you will soon find out, National Geographic failed to do its homework, because quite simply, krill is the largest biomass in the world. If you were to weigh the population of any animal on earth -- any fish, whale, insect, bird, rat, or even humans -- krill would still weigh the most. 

There are simply more krill on the planet than any other creature. They are in little danger of over harvesting anytime soon.

National Geographic Being Contacted for Correction

Neptune Technologies & Bioresources Inc., the manufacturer of the premier krill oil supplement on the market, has actually requested that National Geographic update their krill fact sheet so as not to mislead the public, but that has not happened as of yet.

According to National Geographic, there are recent studies showing that Antarctic krill stocks may have dropped by 80 percent since the 1970s.

This one sentence was quickly reiterated on a number of sites; eagerly snapped up by those offering competing omega-3 products such as Moxxor, an extract of green-lipped mussels, as a reason to switch.

However, the National Geographic piece also points out that scientists attribute these declines in part to ice cover loss caused by global warming, which may have reduced ice-algae -- krill’s primary food source.

Nowhere do they mention over harvesting.

But of course, it’s easy to jump to conclusions based on one sentence, especially in light of krill oil’s rising popularity as being one of the most outstanding sources of omega-3 fats on the planet.

The Truth About Krill Harvesting

The truth is that not only is krill the largest biomass in the world, but krill harvesting is one of the best regulated on the planet, using strict international precautionary catch limit regulations that are reviewed regularly to assure sustainability.

Krill can be found in all oceans, but Antarctic krill is by far the most abundant. The Antarctic krill biomass is under the management of an international organism of 25 countries called the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

This is the ONLY official and reliable international organism involved in the management of sustainable krill fishery and the monitoring of krill stock, and no shortage of krill has ever been forecasted by CCAMLR.

According to CCAMLR, the decline in krill catches in 1992 was due to economic factors, not because of an actual decline in the stocks of krill being fished.

At that time, many krill fisheries shifted over to finfish fisheries, and the break-up of the Soviet Union, which had dominated the krill fishing industry, resulted in reduced krill catches. Likewise, in 1998 the economic crisis in Asia further reduced the demand for krill.

But along with global warming and natural, cyclical fluctuations in krill stock, these factors were in no way related to over-harvesting.

Krill Harvesting is One of the Most Eco-Friendly on the Planet

The ‘precautionary approach’ was implemented by the CCAMLR in order to minimize risks associated with harvesting practices in conditions of uncertainty. It is an ‘ecosystem approach,’ meaning it takes into account ecological links between different species and natural variability, such as the natural, cyclical rise and fall in reproduction of a species, for example.

Antarctic krill has now been harvested for 47 years, starting in 1961, with an historical peak harvest of just under 529,000 tons for the 1981/82 season. However, the mean annual catch rate from 2002 to 2007 was less than 120,000 tons a year.

Meanwhile, many studies show the biomass of Antarctic krill range from 170 million to 740 million tons, averaging around 420 million tons; a standing stock with an annual reproduction rate of several hundred million tons.

This ensures a very large standing stock of renewable krill for both natural predators and human use.

To put this all into perspective, the precautionary catch limit for 2008 set by the CCAMLR, based on recent surveys of krill stock, was 6.6 million tons. (This catch limit takes into account the ecosystem as a whole to protect the environment.) However, even at that, less than 2 percent of the precautionary catch limit has actually been harvested on any given year!

Krill Harvest is a Tiny Fraction of What Whales Consume!

With the estimated baleen whale consumption being approximately 85 million tons per year, the actual mean total annual catch equals a mere 0.14 percent of the whales’ consumption.

It’s also worth noting that of the total krill harvest each year, almost 88 percent of the catches are used for sport fishing bait and krill meal for fish farms. The rest, 12 percent, is sold for human consumption, with less than 1 percent being processed into krill oil supplements.

To say that using krill oil supplements is in any way endangering the whales and other wildlife is clearly out of line in light of these facts.

Krill Oil is Your BEST Source of Omega-3s

In my view, krill oil is clearly your best option when it comes to obtaining important high quality animal based omega-3 fats. It contains essential EPA and DHA in a double chain phospholipid structure that makes it far more absorbable than the omega-3s in fish oil. 

Krill oil also contains vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin D and canthaxanthin, which is a potent anti-oxidant. Research has shown the anti-oxidant potency of krill oil is, in terms of ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorptance Capacity) values, 48 times more potent than fish oil.

Sadly, Misinformation and Deception Exists Even in the Natural Food Area

So, while competing products may try to misinform you with stories like this, the fact is that krill -- properly harvested, and tested for contaminations -- remains the most incredible source of omega-3s on the planet.

And, no ... taking a krill oil supplement to optimize your own health will NOT starve any other species into extinction.

REFERENCES

HEWITT R.P., J.L. WATKINS, M. NAGANOBU et al., 2002. Setting a precautionary catch limit for Antarctic krill. Oceanography, Volume 15 (3): 26-33. Published by The Oceanography Society, MD, USA.

NICOL S & Y ENDO. 1999. Krill fisheries: Development, management and ecosystem management. Aquatic Living Resources 12 (2): 105-120.

SIEGEL V. 2005. Distribution and population dynamics of Euphausia superba: summary of recent findings. Polar Biol. 29: 1-22.

SMETACEK V.  & S. NICOL.  2005. Polar ocean ecosystems in a changing world. Nature 437: 362-368.

Effortless Healing – One Step at a Time – NOW AVAILABLE!

My newest book, Effortless Healing is now available! I've organized this book into a guide that will help you avoid the many pitfalls of the conventional approach to health. Rather than relying on expensive and potentially dangerous drugs, I will help you effortlessly make small shifts in what you eat and how you live to achieve your health goals. I promise, Effortless Healing isn't a book that will overwhelm you. On top of that, ordering the book today entitles you to 3 exclusive bonuses:

BONUS #1:

A sneak peek of my new book! You won’t need to wait for the book to arrive to get started. Begin reading my new book right away with your free sneak preview!

BONUS #2:

My most popular video interviews, all in one place. I’ve compiled 18 of my BEST expert interviews for you to watch and listen to at your leisure, and in the comfort of your own home or office.

BONUS #3:

Receive 15% off your next Mercola.com order. Depending on your order, your savings from this one bonus alone could more than cover the cost of your book!

All My Profits from This Book Will Be Donated

That's right. When you order a copy of my new book Effortless Healing, you'll be making a much-deserved donation to the key organizations that work quietly and efficiently behind the scenes to make the world a healthier place for you, your family, and your community.

Among them, you'll be benefiting and supporting the actions of:

  • National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) – A non-profit organization that seeks to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and defending your right of informed choice.
  • Organic Consumers Association (OCA) – A grassroots public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability, and addressing food safety, GMOs, the industrial agricultural complex, children's health, and more. The ONLY U.S. organization focused exclusively on the interests that you and I share!
  • Consumers for Dental Choice – Children, the unborn, and employees in the dental field are particularly vulnerable to mercury. But so is everyone with a mouthful of amalgam fillings (which are 50% mercury) at risk. Consumers for Dental Choice is working to phase out amalgam use and to promote access to mercury-free alternatives.
  • Fluoride Action Network (FAN) – An international coalition aimed at ending water fluoridation and alerting you to fluoride's environmental and health risks. FAN keeps you informed about fluoride toxicity, and monitors government actions that may expose you to fluoride.

Are you ready to get started? The timing has never been better. Order your copy of Effortless Healing today, collect your free gifts, and let your journey begin!

Thank you! Your purchases help us support these charities and organizations.

Food Democracy Now
Mercury Free Dentistry
Fluoride Action Network
National Vaccine Information Center
Institute for Responsible Technology
Organic Consumers Association
Center for Nutrtion Advocacy
Cornucopia Institute
Vitamin D Council
GrassrootsHealth - Vitamin D*action
Alliance for Natural Health USA
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation
The Rabies Challenge Fund
Cropped Catis Mexico