Sea Shepherd’s Antarctica Defence: Spotlight on the Industrial Krill Fishing Fleet

Every two months Dr. Bronner's chooses an organisation we align with to donate proceeds from the first 100 sales of our Deluxe Sample Packs. In April and May, we're supporting Sea Shepherd - a direct-action marine conservation organisation, focused on protecting our precious ocean and the marine life who call it home. Click here to purchase a Deluxe Sample Pack to support Sea Shepherd.

We also want to highlight some of the incredible work Sea Shepherd is currently undertaking in the Antarctic by sharing the following Opinion Piece provided by Sea Shepherd with permission to share. 

In 2023, what Sea Shepherd documented in Antarctica shocked the world. We thought the whales of the Southern Ocean were safe. We were wrong.

Our ship, the Allankay, shone a spotlight on the krill fishing fleets that are destroying Antarctica’s fragile ecosystem. These enormous supertrawlers are taking huge amounts of krill from the otherwise pristine Antarctic waters.

Going to these Antarctic waters, our intention was clear: capture this devastation red-handed and showcase it to the world. We witnessed these trawlers ploughing through a pod of over 200 whales that were feeding on krill.

The images we captured of industry competing with wildlife for the same food were shared across the world and have sparked outrage, and is causing many to call for this industry to be shut down. That documentation helped to ensure that the krill quota was not increased for this year - but there’s more to do, as this industry is poised for expansion.

These once remote waters are now frequented by massive supertrawlers all seeking krill to feed the aquaculture industry and to extract krill oil for health supplements, beauty products and pet food additives.

On its second mission in January 2024, our ship the Allankay arrived in Antarctic waters where six supertrawlers were discovered dragging massive nets to capture krill, a small crustacean that is a foundation species of the Antarctic ecosystem and the primary food source for fin and humpback whales.

The industrialised supertrawlers—each one as large as two Olympic-sized swimming pools—were filmed ploughing through a feeding frenzy of hundreds of whales while waddles of chinstrap penguins looked on from surrounding icebergs.

These booming industries have doubled the human demand for krill in the last two decades, and if we don't act now, we'll have to contend with twice as many supertrawlers in the coming years.

Krill are tiny crustaceans that are pivotal to the Antarctic ecosystem, a keystone species providing sustenance for various marine life, including whales, penguins, seals, and seabirds.

The warming oceans and receding sea ice already challenge Antarctic life. Add to this the pressure from industrial krill fisheries, and you have a recipe for ecological disaster.

We are at a juncture where legislation needs to align with conservation.

Our ultimate goal is to build global awareness so real Marine Protected Areas are put in place that can bring this devastation to an end.

Sea Shepherd aims to keep the krill fishery on the political agenda and make the case for why the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Orkney Islands need to be closed off to krill fishing as ‘no-take’ marine protected areas, a decision the international community will be discussing and voting on later this year.

Sea Shepherd’s mission to protect our oceans is resolute. We welcome all to join our fight - for as long as Antarctica needs us, Sea Shepherd will be there to protect it. 

For more information on how to join the fight, please visit:

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