Did you know that the amount of Antarctic krill in the Southern Ocean – about 500 million tonnes – is equivalent to the weight of all the humans on Earth?

One krill is about five centimetres long and weighs one gram, but krill can form swarms large enough to be seen from space!

The small crustaceans are a critical food source for Southern Ocean marine creatures, from fish, to seabirds, seals and whales.

Here in the Australian Antarctic Program we study all things Antarctic krill.

We have an aquarium dedicated to caring for and studying this keystone species of the Southern Ocean.

Our Antarctic research vessel, RSV Nuyina, also has a special ‘wet well’ to catch krill during voyages south.

Our scientists conduct research on krill biology, physiology, ecology, behaviour, population dynamics and genetics. And we research the impact of climate change and ocean acidification on the different life stages of krill.

Our work informs the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to ensure sustainable management of the krill fishery around Antarctica.

Our research team is led by senior krill biologist Dr So Kawaguchi.

Watch the short video to hear Dr Kawaguchi describe how he got into krill research and why he loves krill. Then check out some of our videos, stories and educational resources about Antarctic krill in the links below.


Interactive feature

  • Krill Matters – come with us on a visually stunning voyage into the Southern Ocean to study krill from all angles.