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Earth911 Podcast: World Ocean Day Special — Ashlan & Philippe Cousteau Share a Krill Call to Action

Earth911 Podcast: World Ocean Day Special — Ashlan & Philippe Cousteau Share a Krill Call to Action

Travel Channel hosts Ashlan and Philippe Cousteau join a special World Oceans Day conversation with Mitch Ratcliffe and Newday Impact Investing CEO Doug Heske about the rapidly declining krill population in the Southern Antarctic Ocean. These tiny crustaceans that are the keystone of a critical carbon cycle are threatened with extinction from overharvesting to make heart- and brain-healthy omega-3 oils and for use as filler in animal feed. Just as humans once hunted whales almost to extinction, krill are being harvested extensively in the Antarctic Southern Ocean, so much so that the species is at risk. Demand for products made from krill has reduced populations by as much as 80% since the 1970s. They could face losses of another 40% because of the impacts of climate change.

Travel Channel hosts Ashlan and Philippe Cousteau and Newday Impact Investing CEO Doug Heske
Our special World Oceans Day guests are Travel Channel hosts Ashlan and Philippe Cousteau (of EarthEcho International), along with Newday Impact Investing CEO Doug Heske.

Philippe and Ashlan explain how krill power the largest carbon sink on the planet — it sequesters more CO2 than the Amazon. They caution consumers to avoid krill-based products to avoid contributing to the collapse of the Antarctic food chain and recommend asking for algae-based alternatives. EarthEcho International, the youth ocean education nonprofit Philippe founded, and Newday Impact are collaborating to launch a krill-protection-focused exchange-traded fund that will support public awareness and the development of sustainable alternatives. They encourage young people to join the movement for ocean health at joingensea.org.

Krill are tiny, shrimp-like crustaceans that serve as a primary food source for many marine animals, including fish, whales, seals, and penguins in the Antarctic Southern Ocean. Just as humans once hunted whales almost to extinction, krill are being harvested extensively in the Antarctic Southern Ocean, so much so that the species is at risk. Demand for products made from krill has reduced populations by as much as 80% since the 1970s. They could face a loss of another 40% because of the impacts of climate change. The solution Ashlan and Philippe suggest is a remarkable example of a broad solution that addresses many climate-related problems. As we’ve heard on previous shows, algae oil is an ingredient in nutritious foods, sustainable fuels, and compostable plastics or fabrics. The introduction of land-based algae farming can support millions of prosperous farmers, especially in the global south, where climate change already makes land too arid for traditional agriculture.

Discover more about krill fishing and EarthEcho International at earthecho.org and the Newday Impact Investing Ocean Health ETF (NYSE: AHOY) at newdayimpact.com/ocean-health.

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