We are a biotech innovator and Antarctic krill-harvesting company, dedicated to improving human and planetary health. Our core business consists of harvesting, production, sales and marketing of krill-based products. We develop and sell unique food and nutritional supplements for humans and powerful ingredients for fish and animal feed. Our fully transparent value chain stretches from sustainable krill harvesting in pristine Antarctic waters through our Montevideo logistics hub, Houston production plant, and all the way to customers around the world.
QRILL is Aker BioMarine’s registered brand name for its Krill Meal and Krill Oil products for animal nutrition. Their Omega-3 bound Phospholipids and natural Astaxanthin contents make QRILL ideal for aquaculture and animal feeds.
These bioactive ingredients have been documented as delivering positive effects in fish, animals and humans. QRILL products are available around the world.
Aker BioMarine is an integrated company, listed on the Oslo stock exchange since 2007, uniquely positioned to create value in krill-derived products. The company is supplies biomarine ingredients through an optimized value chain from raw materials to customer.
Aker BioMarine utilizes its unique krill harvesting technology to provide marine raw materials into its own downstream operations within high added value aquaculture and animal feed, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical markets.
Krill derived products, such as oil and meal, are rich in bioactive ingredients, e.g. omega-3 bound phospholipids and astaxanthin, which have documented positive effects in both animals and humans.
Aker BioMarine registered QRILL as the company’s brand name for its krill meal and krill oil products for aquaculture and the animal feed markets, including pet foods.
- PREVENTION OF LIFESTYLE DISEASES
More than 80 percent of the world’s population is deficient in omega-3. Adequate omega-3 intake is considered important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle that can help prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In 2016, we delivered one billion doses of Superba Krill to the market, improving the lives of millions of people.
- BETTER RESOURCE UTILIZATION
In 2016 alone, fish farmers using our krill meal produced an additional 175 million servings of salmon – without increasing the volume of feed. An independent study conducted by the research institute Nofima, concluded that farmed salmon grow 10–25 percent faster due to our feed supplement, QRILL Aqua krill meal.
- PROMOTING INDUSTRY RESPONSIBILITY
In a united krill-industry drive, we are promoting effective sustainability practices through the Association of Responsible Krill Harvesting Companies (ARK). Efforts include the implementation of a voluntary no-fishing zone around penguin colonies threatened by climate change.
- ANTARCTIC ECOSYSTEM RESEARCH
Sound research covering the entire Antarctic marine ecosystem is vital for our business. Along with ensuring responsible harvesting of the Southern Ocean’s krill biomass, we established the Antarctic Wildlife Research Fund together with WWF-Norway and The Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC) to promote and facilitate research on the Antarctic ecosystem.
- SCIENCE BOOSTING AWARENESS
In 2016, we spent 5 percent of our revenues on science and innovation projects. Such funding builds scientific knowledge and has the potential to spur popular awareness and consumption of omega-3s. We recently launched a research study to evaluate the effects of our krill oil omega-3s on the resilience and performance of some of the world’s toughest Army recruits. Hopefully, the study will motivate a younger generation to boost their omega-3 levels.
Aker BioMarine has succeeded at both cost and quality leadership. We stay true to our strategy: imagine, invest, and sail forth with a determination to always try to do things better.
Entering unchartered waters more than a decade ago, Aker BioMarine’s unconventional approach to krill harvesting and ship-to-shore logistics were dismissed as foolhardy and not financially viable. Ten years on, the company has set the industry standard for best practices in krill harvesting and achieved record efficiency.
Aker BioMarine operates its own cargo transport ship that brings semi-finished krill products from Antarctic waters to the company’s logistics hub in Montevideo, Uruguay. From 2014 to 2016, the per-ton cost of Montevideo offloading was slashed by 22 percent. The efficiency team leaders – Tore Hetland, Aker BioMarine’s Logistics and Operations Manager; Robert Ernstsen, Montevideo Warehouse Manager; and Sverre Johansen, Production and Operations Advisor – share with us their three success criteria.
“We made full transparency the norm for all Montevideo cost elements; specificity helped us trim cost-sensitive decisions such as Sunday work. Secondly, offload planning had to begin several weeks in advance; and thirdly, we made sure to have Aker BioMarine personnel overseeing the entire offload.”
Go big or go home
Aker BioMarine reinvented the entire mechanics of krill and at-sea production. Along with inventing a new way to gently bring krill onboard, the company fine-tunes how long the factory trawlers are at sea, the size of their nets, towing speed, and how krill oil is extracted. “Aker BioMarine did not become the leader by leaving anything to chance,” Tore Hetland summarizes.
Fortune does, however, favor the brave. 'There’s no cheap way to fish krill in the Antarctic, only the expensive way. It’s all or nothing, and we were committed enough to go all in, says Matts Johansen, CEO at Aker BioMarine.
Masters of our own destiny
The most recent multi-million-dollar decision is the company’s investment in its state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Houston, Texas. Owning the entire value chain, from harvesting to end-customer, ensures full transparency and a unique ability to optimize operations.
'We quickly realized we were better off producing the krill oil ourselves and that we must invest in technology to deliver next-generation Superba Krill Oil products,' says Johansen.
Reconstruction at the Houston plant started in 2014; in late 2015, the 180,000-square-foot facility began producing 'the best possible quality krill oil at the right cost' as Johansen puts it.
With the final element of its supply chain owned and operated by Aker BioMarine, the company could confidently proclaim complete control over operations – from catch to product.
Traceability is very important in our markets and being able to trace each and every end-product back to where it was fished is, frankly, priceless.
'People want to know what they’re consuming these days; they want to know what their dogs are eating and they want to know what the salmon they’re eating was fed on,' Johansen concludes.
We believe in a world where all have access to quality nutrition and good health without compromising the future of our planet.
Before we deployed our very first fishing net in the Southern Ocean, we began working with WWF-Norway to ensure that our operations would have low impact on the Antarctic ecosystem.
Over the last ten years, the partnership with WWF has evolved, and we are now on a mission to improve both human and planetary health. Ambitious goals are essential to overcoming the global challenges that will impact — and drive — the future of our business: loss of biodiversity, resource scarcity, lifestyle disease threats, and climate change.
We intend to be part of the solution to these challenges. Our Eco-Harvesting technology and marine conservation practices are making vital improvements. As a producer and supplier of marine ingredients, our daily responsibility is to improve people’s health without compromising the health of our planet and its oceans.
Our long-term commitment is to improve people’s health worldwide and promote the health of our planet.
Part of the solution
We have decided to be part of the solution to these challenges, and act every day as an environmentally responsible producer of marine ingredients.
We are committed to supplying health ingredients that benefit people and to operating in a manner that does not compromise the health of our planet and its oceans.
Krill represent the cornerstone of the entire Antarctic food chain - with an estimated biomass of around 500 million tons. ALL of our catches are reported to the Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), an international commission comprised of 25 member nations.
CCAMLR was established in 1982 with the objective of conserving Antarctic marine life. This was in response to increasing commercial interest in Antarctic krill resources, an integral component of the Antarctic ecosystem and a history of over-exploitation of several other marine resources in the Southern Ocean.
Harvesting far below the limit
Compared to other fisheries where precautionary catch limits are set to 10% or more, the total allowable krill catch is limited to 1% of the stock biomass (~600,000 tons). Currently, the annual catch of ~200,000 tons per year from all krill fisheries is far below this margin.
CCAMLR uses a precautionary, ecosystem-based approach designed to prevent krill harvesting that will have a negative impact on a harvested species or other species in the ecosystem. Fishing is restricted to a specific region of the Southern Ocean called Area 48. The management of the fishery is robust, as the consensus of 25 governments is needed to change any of the fishery regulations in the Antarctic.
Krill is one of our planet’s largest biomasses. This tiny crustacean, present in all oceans, holds a vital position in the marine food chain. Through millions of years of evolution, krill’s bioactive components and molecules have sustained Nature’s diverse species.
Here at Aker BioMarine, we develop krill-based ingredients, rich in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, for nutraceutical, aquaculture, and animal feed applications.
Most of the world’s population is deficient in omega-3, while three of the four main types of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are associated with omega-3 deficiency. We deliver around one billion daily doses of Superba Krill to the market annually, improving the health of millions of people.
Feeding the world’s growing population increasingly demands resource-efficient, low-carbon food production systems. In 2016 alone, fish farmers using our krill meal produced an additional 175 million servings of salmon — without increasing the amount of feed they used.
Sustainable and transparent
The Antarctic krill fishery is one of the world’s most sustainable fisheries. It is also notable for near-zero by-catches, fully transparent operations, and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, the highest standard for sustainable fisheries. In 2016, the krill fishery received an “A” rating by the Sustainable Fishery Partnership as the only reduction fishery in the world with a biomass that is rated “in very good condition.'