Krill are miniscule crustaceans at the base of the marine food chain. Whales, seals, and penguins are major predators of krill. Because krill are at the bottom of the food chain, they do not accumulate mercury and contaminants. This is an advantage over fish oil.
While individual krill are tiny (up to 5 cm), collectively they are massive. There are 85 species globally. One species alone (Euphausia superba), depending on the season, is estimated to be anywhere from 100 and 500 million metric tons of biomass. In recent years, The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) has set the annual krill harvesting quota at 2.07 percent of the total biomass. Less than one percent of the total krill biomass is currently being harvested each year. This is highly sustainable, and the Antarctic waters are actually one of the best managed fisheries in the world.
Krill oil’s Omega-3 form is an even bigger plus. In krill, the EPA and DHA (good fats) are in phospholipid form. The good fats are both water and fat-soluble. In fish oil, the Omega-3 is fat-soluble only. The result? Krill oil is much easier to digest. It’s easier for the body to absorb and use it.
Krill are also a natural source of the super antioxidant astaxanthin. This antioxidant helps preserve the Omega-3. It keeps the oil from turning rancid and ineffective—a serious problem in many fish oil products.