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Krill: Overview

krill

Krill are tiny shrimp-like crustaceans found in all of the world’s oceans. As a key component of the ocean ecosystem, krill are directly linked to the survival of many marine species.

Many seabirds, whales and fish rely on krill as an integral part of their diets. Worldwide, ocean wildlife is estimated to consume between 150 and 300 million metric tons of krill each year.

Wild salmon eat krill; it’s what makes their meat healthy and pink. The blue whale, the largest animal that has ever lived, feeds exclusively on tiny krill. Emperor penguins march hundreds of miles every year to eat krill.

Krill are harvested to feed farmed fish, removing a food source for the wild creatures that depend on them. The results could be catastrophic for the marine food web.

Oceana works to protect Pacific krill and other important prey species.