As conventional wild fisheries decline due to overfishing and as aquaculture continues to grow, there will be greater emphasis on harvesting species such as krill from both nearshore areas and from more distant waters such as those of Antarctica. Developments in food technology may result in more rapid cost-effective forms of krill for human consumption. More efficient use of krill as a resource may see the full utilisation of krill as a food item and as a source of valuable biochemicals. Increased successful use of Antarctic krill as an aquaculture feed may lead to an increase in demand and thus an incentive to develop fisheries for krill in temperate and sub-tropical waters. It is likely that coastal krill fisheries in temperate and subtropical waters will be limited because of their relatively small stock sizes and because of perceived deleterious interactions with other fisheries and with species of high conservation values. Any increase in demand, will thus, in all probability, lead to a greater pressure on the largest known krill stock - Antarctic krill.
The Antarctic krill fishery is currently held in check by economic and marketing factors but it is likely that in the near future it will become economic to harvest krill commercially. Harvesting krill brings with it the potential for ecological problems because there is little experience in managing fisheries on species so close to the base of the food web. A precautionary approach, such as that adopted by CCAMLR, seems a sensible way to proceed when managing such fisheries which are surrounded by more than normal levels of uncertainty. Krill fisheries have a great potential to increase the world's harvest from the oceans but they also have considerable potential to cause unpredictable harm to marine ecosystems. Development of krill fisheries must be accompanied or preceded by effective management so that the benefits are maximised and the ecological costs are minimised.