What do blue whales, penguins and salmon have in common?
They all have the same diet. Much of the ocean is fed by a two-inch crustacean: krill. Antarctic krill congregate in huge masses in the Southern Ocean, dense enough to fill the belly of a blue whale, the world’s largest animal.
Penguins will march hundreds of miles to feast on krill, building up blubber that will help them survive their cold months on land. Even flying seabirds will dive in and partake of the abundance.
Without this tiny creature, the ocean would starve. But like so much else in the ocean, krill’s future is in danger. It is also a popular food for salmon, giving the fish’s meat that distinctive pink color. When humans build fish farms for predatory fish like salmon, we need to feed them. And that means that humans are now fishing krill to feed our farms, taking away potential meals from whales, penguins, and other wild creatures.
Oceana is working to prevent the overfishing of krill and the other small creatures that keep the oceans’ food chain going. To learn more about marine animals like Antarctic krill, visit our marine wildlife encyclopedia.
- Oceana Magazine: DiCaprio Funds Conservation Across the Entire Eastern Pacific Posted Thu, September 11, 2014
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- Ocean Roundup: Western Australia Recommended to Halt Shark Cull, Orca Pod Saves Member from Fishing Gear, and More Posted Fri, September 12, 2014
- Oceana Provides Common Hake Recovery Plan to Chilean Government Posted Wed, September 17, 2014
- Offshore Drilling Risks Highlighted in Myrtle Beach Billboards Posted Fri, September 12, 2014