The Antarctic krill fishery : a techno-economic investigation
From a review of recent developments in the harvesting and processing of krill, an analysis is made of the market potential for the main products of a krill fishery, namely whole krill, tail meats, mince (particularly surimi) and meal. A techno-economic analysis of various catching - processing - product systems is made, in terms of costs and prices applicable in Western countries in 1977. The study finds that in practice the rapid spoilage rate of- krill after capture effectively determines that it should be processed on board freezer or factory trawlers. However, unless krill is marketed essentially as a crustacean product (even though in minced form) it is most unlikely to generate sufficient revenue to justify the high costs of its exploitation. Consideration is also given to the management issues raised by the exploitation of Antarctic krill in the context of the Southern Ocean. It is concluded that the quantities of krill likely to be taken by Western countries in the foreseeable future will be comparatively low. However. should the Soviets continue to expand their activities then even comparatively modest catch levels (of the order of a few million tonnes per year) could have a serious effect on Southern Ocean stocks, if not on krill, then on other species dependent upon this resource.