Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Pick up a penguin!

Who doesn't love penguins? From movies and Christmas cards, to the face of a well-known chocolate biscuit, everyone is well accustomed to seeing penguins in everyday life. However, a threat to penguins is looming that also has other, far-reaching effects ... 

Recent studies have shown there has been a dramatic increase in krill fishing in Antarctic waters. Though they may be small, krill play a huge part in the food chains of the world's marine ecosystems. With between 125 million to 6 billion tons in the waters around Antarctica, these tiny crustaceans are the cornerstone of the Antarctic food chain, and therefore a vital food source for penguins. Combined with the effect of global warming, the krill population is at stake.

In addition, krill help to eliminate greenhouse gases. Krill feed on phytoplankton: microscopic, single-cell plants that drift near the ocean's surface, living off harmful carbon dioxide and sunlight. With global warming already affecting the ice on which these phytoplankton live, it is vital that we do all that we can to assist in the preservation of the magnificent Antarctic.

So, what can be done?

As a way of combating excessive krill farming, companies such as Holland & Barrett, Morrisons and Superdrug have already taken krill-based products off their shelves, with pressure growing for other large companies to follow suit.

A proposed way in which to protect krill is to implement a sanctuary in the Antarctic Ocean. If given the go ahead, this sanctuary would become the largest in the world, and would prohibit krill fishing in these waters, allowing Antarctic wildlife to flourish once again.

This proposed sanctuary will be discussed by governments at the Antarctic Ocean Commission in October, and you can do your bit to be heard by signing Greenpeace's petition to protect the Antarctic Ocean.

Help to p-p-p-pick up a penguin today!

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