KRILL FEEDS WHALES WITH BIG RESULTS
Krill are considered an important trophic level connection – near the bottom of the food chain – because they feed on phytoplankton, and to a lesser extent, zooplankton, converting these into a form suitable for many larger animals for whom krill makes up the largest part of their diet including the Blue whale. One species, the Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, makes up an estimated biomass of around 379,000,000 tons, making it among the species with the largest total biomass. Of this, over half is eaten by whales, seals, penguins, squid and fish each year, and is replaced by growth and reproduction. Most krill species display large daily vertical migrations, thus providing food for predators near the surface at night and in deeper waters during the day.
Krill are fished commercially in the Southern Ocean and in the waters around Japan. The total global harvest amounts to 150,000–200,000 tons annually, most of this from the Scotia Sea. Most of the krill catch is used for aquaculture and aquarium feeds, as bait in sport fishing, or in the pharmaceutical industry. In Japan, Philippines and Russia, krill is also used for human consumption and is known as okiami in Japan. In the Philippines, it is known as “alamang” and it is used to make a salty paste called bagoong. Krill is also the main prey of baleen whales, including the blue whale. t is the krill diet in whales that produces the nitrogen rich excrement that removes 90% of the carbon monoxide and other poisons from the atmosphere. A most positive discovery.