Omega-3 nutraceuticals, climate change and threats to the environment: The cases of Antarctic krill and Calanus finmarchicus

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Abstract

The nutraceutical market for EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is promoting fishing for Euphasia superba (Antarctic krill) in the Southern Ocean and Calanus finmarchicus in Norwegian waters. This industry argues that these species are underexploited, but they are essential in their ecosystems, and climate change is altering their geographical distribution. In this perspective, we advocate the cessation of fishing for these species to produce nutraceuticals with EPA and DHA. We argue that this is possible because, contrary to what this industry promotes, the benefits of these fatty acids only seem significant to specific population groups, and not for the general population. Next, we explain that this is desirable because there is evidence that these fisheries may interact with the impact of climate change. Greener sources of EPA and DHA are already available on the market, and their reasonable use would ease pressure on the Arctic and Antarctic ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1184-1199
Number of pages16
JournalAmbio
Volume50
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Antarctic krill
  • Calanus finmarchicus
  • Climate change
  • Docosahexaenoic acid
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid
  • Krill oil

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