EDINBURGH - Leading supermarkets and salmon farming companies have been accused of “plundering” the Antarctic for krill and depriving whales, seals and penguins of food.

An investigation by the campaign group, Changing Markets, said that Asda, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Tesco sold farmed salmon fed on krill.

Two multinationals that own salmon farms in Scotland - Bakkafrost and Lerøy Seafood - were also alleged to use krill as fish feed.

Krill are tiny crustaceans vital to the global environment, providing sustenance for marine animals and helping to slow climate change by storing carbon. But they are being fished in increasing numbers in the Antarctic to feed farmed salmon and to provide dietary supplements.

The industry argues that krill fishing is sustainable, only taking a small proportion of an abundant species. But campaigners disagree, saying that krill are being impacted by climate change and fishing them should be banned.

This story is the first in a planned series about krill.

Team members

Rob Edwards

Rob Edwards has been a freelance environmental journalist for 40 years. 

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