The recent war over the Falkland Islands, alias the Malvinas, has drawn attention ti the richies (and the possibility of their exploitation) to be found in the Antarctic where, in the waters of three oceans, waters to which as many as seven nations lay claim, live billions of those tiny shrimp-like creatures known as "krill", which, in proportion to their weight, are the world's richest protein food.
The word "krill" is Norwegian and means "little fish", but in fact it is not a fish at all: it is a minuscule crustacean which moves around in shoals numbering millions and which, for thousands of years, has been the main source of nutrition for whales, penguins and seals. For the past two decades it also been fished for human consumption, principally by the Russians, Poles and Japanese. American scientists believe that at present swimming around in Antarctic waters there are between 500 and 1.000 million tons of krill, for the most part concenrated along the Antarctic Polar Circle in the seas off Queen Maud Land and Wilkes Land and in the Ross Sea: is thought that the Russians alone "suck" directly through their pumping equipment something like two hundred tons a year, yet their numbers, also due to the decreasing whale population, only keep on growing, to the point indeed where they are threatening to become a danger to the ecological balance of the area.
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Ligabue Magazine 1
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