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Aker BioMarine Antarctic announces today that its krill harvesting vessel, the Antarctic Sea, is Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Certified.

The Antarctic Sea was purchased by Aker BioMarine Antarctic in October 2011 and the company has been rebuilding the ship and installing processing equipment and gear in order to outfit the ship for its inaugural season. Aker BioMarine expects the Antarctic Sea to begin harvesting in late March 2012.

The MSC is the internationally recognized leader in marine eco-certification labels. The MSC eco-label is the exclusive mark of sustainable, well-managed fisheries and is based on a scientifically robust assessment standard. The MSC eco-label is built upon three basic tenants: the health of the stock, the environmental impact of the fishery, and traceability throughout the value chain. The MSC adheres to the most rigorous international standards in order to ensure that marine populations and the ecosystems in which they live remain healthy and productive for today and future generations.

“Aker BioMarine Antarctic collaborates with conservation and fishery management groups such as WWF-Norway, CCAMLR, and MRAG. We actively supports ongoing research on the health of the krill biomass and the krill fishery’s impact on other wildlife in the area which we harvest,” says Matts Johansen, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Aker BioMarine Antarctic. “The krill fishery has been stable for many years now, and the small increase we have seen in recent years comes from Aker BioMarine. Yet even when Aker BioMarine has reached capacity for both vessels, the total catch will still be significant lower than the trigger level, and the trigger level is just 1/10 of the quota, well within sustainable levels.”

Leading retailers, including the largest health food retailer in the US, have identified MSC as their choice of certifying body for fresh caught seafood. Superba™ Krill is sustainably harvested with eco-friendly methods in the Southern Atlantic Ocean near Antarctica.

Aker BioMarine Antarctic is the only krill ingredient marketer that is primary in its supply. Aker BioMarine Antarctic’s proprietary Eco-Harvesting™ technology and on-board, ISO Certified processing result in the unique composition of Superba™ Krill Oil and provide full traceability from sea to shelf. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has granted MSC Certification to Aker BioMarine Antarctic’s fisheries, an exclusive distinction that no other krill fishery has earned. As part of an established commitment to substantiating krill’s health benefits, Aker BioMarine Antarctic continues to sponsor in vitro, in vivo, and human clinical trials with phospholipid EPA & DHA from krill oil, consistently demonstrating a higher uptake of phospholipid omega-3 fatty acids, improved blood lipid profiles, and increased uptake of DHA in brain tissue compared to other omega-3 fatty acid sources. Superba™ Krill Oil is has obtained both GRAS and NDIN.