Defending the Southern Ocean

Operation Antarctica Defense

Confronting the Krill Crisis
Antarctic Wake-Up Call

In 2023, what we documented in Antarctica shocked the world. We thought the whales of the Southern Ocean were safe. We were wrong.

 

Our ship, the Allankay, shone a spotlight on the krill fishing fleets that are destroying Antarctica’s fragile ecosystem. These enormous supertrawlers are taking huge amounts of krill from the otherwise pristine Antarctic waters.

 

We witnessed these trawlers plowing through a pod of over 200 whales that were feeding on krill. The images we captured of industry competing with wildlife for the same food were shared across the world and have sparked outrage, and is causing many to call for this industry to be shut down.
 

We're Going Back
A Foodchain, Disrupted
New Threats to Antarctic Wildlife

The new threat facing Antarctica is requiring us to head south once more. These colossal operations disrupt the delicate balance of the Antarctic ecosystems, leaving whales, seals and penguins outcompeted for their primary food source, krill - the keystone of the Antarctic marine ecosystem.

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Ecosystems in the Balance
Krill: Foundation of Antarctica

Krill, are small crustaceans that play a significant role in the frigid Antarctic marine ecosystems where they thrive due to rich, nutrient waters. They serve as the foundation of the Antarctic food chain and are the primary food source for various marine life, like whales, seals, and seabirds. But over the past two decades, the human demand for krill has more than doubled because of the booming – and highly lucrative -- aquaculture and health supplement industries, supplying western consumers.

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Antarctica Under Attack
The Allankay Finds the Krill Fishing Fleet

January 25, 2024 -- On the 20th of January 2024, the Sea Shepherd ship Allankay arrived off Penguin Point, the northwestern extremity of Coronation Island, an Antarctic Specially Protected Area where six supertrawlers were discovered dragging massive nets to capture krill, a small crustacean that is a foundation species of the Antarctic ecosystem and the primary food source for fin and humpback whales.

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