Antarctic krill are a key species in the Antarctic ecosystem. They are a consumer and re-packager of phytoplankton (algae) and therefore part of the biological carbon pump; they are a food item to many of the larger and charismatic fauna such as fish, penguins, seals and whales; and they are the subject of an international fishery.
As a result, how many and where Antarctic krill are swarming and distributed is an important factor in our management of the Antarctic marine environment.
This image is an echogram, a visual representation of the quantity of sound energy reflected by objects in the sea. The redder the colour in the image, the greater the amount of sound that has been reflected, with white representing ‘empty’ water. In this case, the red strawberry shape is an Antarctic krill swarm that the ship passed over as it was heading from Signy to South Georgia. It was 100m deep and 1km long.
Dr Sophie Fielding
British Antarcic Survey