Friend of the Sea: Krill Oil Sustainability

Friends-of-the-SeaOur Omega Supreme Formulas are Friend of the Sea Certified.

Friend of the Sea is a non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO), whose mission is the conservation of the marine habitat. Friend of the Sea is the leading international certification project for products originated from both sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Products and their origins are audited onsite by independent international certification bodies, against strict Friend of the Sea sustainability criteria.

Krill, the Sustainable Choice

Individually, most krill are miniscule, growing to about 5 centimeters. But collectively, they are a massive organism. While there are 85 different species of krill in multiple locations throughout the globe, Neptune only harvests Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba). The total biomass of that species alone weighs in at approximately 420 million metric tons.

Our fishery source is governed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, who establishes yearly allowable fishing quotas. In recent years, a quota of 2.7% was allowed, but less than 0.06% of the krill biomass was harvested annually.

Our krill harvesting respects the krill bloom, protecting the normal lifecycle patterns of this incredible marine organism. Neptune has earned Friend of the Sea certification for its sustainable krill harvesting standards. Friend of the Sea is an independent organization that audits fishing vessels and ensures the international guidelines are respected.


Strong Regulations

The vast majority of Krill Oil comes from the Southern Ocean in Antarctica, which is controlled by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). The 25-member country convention requires every fishing boat to be licensed, and sets strict limits on how they fish (using nets that won’t snare larger fish and mammals) and how much they catch. “It is the most regulated fishery in the world,” says oceanographer Luc Rainville, director of scientific and regulatory affairs for Neptune Technologies.

Krill Populations are Abundant

Between 420 million and 700 million metric tons of krill inhabit Antarctic waters, making it one of the largest collections of plankton in the world. Each spring, during spawning season, it re-populates that which was fished out or eaten by whales, penguins, seals, and birds.

Low Catch Limits

The CCAMLR allows licensed krill operators in the Antarctic to collectively catch a limit of 620,000 tons of krill (around 1 percent of the total biomass) annually. This limit has never been reached, with annual catches remaining around 200,000 tons annually for the last several years.

Krill Harvesting Does Not Harm

Baleen whales rely on krill. However, krill fishery does not create a shortage for the whales, or close to it. The total annual catch of krill globally per year would equal about 3 percent of what the Baleen whales consumed in the same time period.

The same is true for krill and penguins. While a recent study looked at the decreasing penguin population, this urgent matter cannot be linked to krill fishing. The researchers did not find any correlation to krill fishery or a declining food supply. Rather, they concluded that the penguins have become more sensitive to environmental changes and found a strong correlation between the change in climatic environmental conditions and the decline of the penguin population.