The wonders of the Weddell Sea in Antarctica are multiple and awe inspiring. Its depth averages 500m, its clarity is that of distilled water. The temperature is zero degrees on the sea floor but it teems with life. Outweighing all other is krill, its biomass being far greater than any other: Antarctic krill are thought to have the largest population of any species on the planet.
The US passed legislation to conserve Pacific krill in 1976, soon after Japan and Russia began ‘exploratory’ fishing in Antarctica. Since then, krill harvesting has become a huge industry and, while conservation measures have been put in place in some sea areas — krill are a transglobal species — the quantities harvested are increasing and, in some regions, threatening other creatures in the ecosystems. An example is the Adélie penguins, which along with Emperor penguins live farther south than any others.