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New Sea Shepherd campaign targets Blackmores'

New Sea Shepherd campaign targets Blackmores' 'EcoKrill' products for their impact on whales of the Antarctic.

Sea Shepherd Australia today announced the launch of a new style campaign to protect a species of fundamental importance to the Antarctic marine ecosystem: the Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba). The campaign targets Australian health supplement giant, Blackmores Ltd and its omega-3 supplement pills “EcoKrill”.

The main ingredient of the EcoKrill 'health pill' is provided by factory ships, which vacuum huge quantities of krill from the depths of the pristine Antarctic Ocean, removing a vital food source for whales. With a decline in Krill stocks already underway, this practice affects the entire Antarctic ecosystem, including penguins, birds, whales, and fish.

“Blackmores are threatening whales by literally taking the food right out of their mouths. Don’t be fooled by the name: Blackmores’ EcoKrill is about as damaging to the Antarctic ecosystem as it gets.” said Sea Shepherd Managing Director Jeff Hansen, “We must stop the devastation being wrought at the bottom of the food chain or face severe consequences, including a dramatic collapse in fish populations, penguin numbers and dire impacts on whales”

Krill is also under threat as a result of human-caused climate change and ocean acidification. Environmental factors have resulted in a drop in krill populations of up to 80% since the 1970s. Fishing for krill is adding pressure to already vulnerable populations and putting the entire Antarctic ecosystem at risk, says Sea Shepherd.

“From the beaches off Washington state, USA to the west coast of Australia, strandings of humpback whales are on the increase and the main finding is that they are malnourished, in other words, they are not getting enough food and are starving. It’s time that Blackmores and other companies ceased taking the food from the whale’s mouth and stopped selling all krill products immediately," said Mr Hansen.

In Australia as many as 2 out of every 3 people regularly use a supplement of some kind, creating a AUD $3.5 billion market, of which krill oil is the hottest new ‘superstar’. Krill oil consumption is growing so fast in Australia that it has shown triple digit sales growth since 2012, making Australia the second biggest krill market in the world with over AUD $200 million in sales in 2013. Blackmores is one of the nations largest supplement producers controlling almost 20 percent of the market

Sea Shepherd is calling for Blackmores to protect the Antarctic krill and embrace sustainable alternatives to omega-3 pills “With climate change and the already crashing krill populations, no amount of krill fishing can be sustainable, there is no excuse for taking food from our whales mouths. Blackmores should focus on better alternatives for omega 3, which don't devastate pristine ecosystems and threaten the great whales of the Southern Ocean”, concluded Hansen.

Sea Shepherd will be asking those concerned about our oceans to send a message to Blackmores' CEO to end use of krill in their products:
http://www.seashepherd.org.au/blackmorespetition/

ENDS

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