Krill Cam brings live krill to your computer

19 November, 2008

Antarctic krill
Antarctic krill
Photo: Stephen Brooks
Live krill, direct from the Southern Ocean, are now swimming under the spotlight in the Australian Antarctic Division's krill aquarium, thanks to the installation of a web cam above their tank.

Visitors to this web site can view the krill 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by following the 'krill video cam' link, under the station webcams on the home page. The 30 seconds of video footage is updated every three minutes.

Our scientists study the krills' physiology, behaviour and reproduction. This helps with the sustainable management of the krill fishery and protection of the Southern Ocean ecosystem.

While most of the krill in the aquarium were captured in the Southern Ocean and returned to the Antarctic Division on the icebreaker, Aurora Australis, scientists are making good progress in their efforts to breed krill in captivity.

Two large tanks containing water with attached filtration system.
Tanks for holding krill.
Photo: Antarctic Division
They have also succeeded in getting the krill to school in their tanks, confirming that the conditions under which the krill are housed are just right for happy, healthy animals. This means that any experiments done on the krill, such as measuring their growth and metabolism, will give more reliable results. These results feed into models for ecosystem and fisheries research, to better understand the ecosystem and to determine sustainable krill catch limits.

As the krill are fed with phytoplankton on most days, the krill cam video may appear dark or cloudy just after feeding time. If this happens please return in a few hours for a clearer image.

Cartoonists impression of krill cam.
Cartoonists impression of krill cam.
Photo: Nick Cartwright

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This page was last modified on 19 November 2008.