Zooca® Calanus® Oil: A Sustainable Marine Lipid

– Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future

Zooca® Calanus® Oil is a uniquely sustainable full-spectrum marine lipid that goes beyond Omega-3s and plays a key role in the Norwegian Sea ecosystem. It not only contains the Omega-3 fatty acids EPA, DHA, and SDA, it also naturally has over 40 different fatty acids, including Omega-7 and Omega-11, as well as marine policosanols and astaxanthin. Many of these fatty acids and the antioxidant astaxanthin are renowned for their numerous health benefits.

Calanus finmarchicus, also known as Calanus, is a tiny zooplankton that is an eco-friendly and sustainable resource in the Norwegian Sea due to its abundant nature and short life span. While Calanus is small in size (3-5mm long), it is also enormous in numbers. It is one of the most numerous of all species in the North Atlantic.

With a large standing stock biomass in the Norwegian Sea of 33 million metric tons, it has an extremely high annual reproduction rate with 290 million tons of new Calanus born each year (1), resulting in a rapid biomass turnover within its one-year life cycle

1 – year Life Cycle

The 1-year life cycle of Calanus, along with its abundant biomass and reproduction, make it uniquely sustainable compared to most other organisms in the marine aquatic environment.

This renewable marine resource reproduces 290 million metric tons each year in the Norwegian Sea, which is more than all the fish harvested from global fisheries and aquaculture combined (2).

In the Spring, Calanus begins its journey as eggs on the ocean’s surface. After they hatch, with no self-propulsion, they flow within the water’s current below the surface and back up again.

Throughout their 12 developmental stages, Calanus feed on phytoplankton, which utilizes photosynthesis to transform organic matter into proteins, fats and other nutrients. By mid-summer, the Calanus have matured with their full spectrum of 40 different fatty acids, and marine policosanols stored as wax esters, in addition to astaxanthin.

Polar zooplankton, such as Calanus, are known for storage of fat as wax esters as a natural energy reserve during their one-year life cycle, while they are at various temperatures and depths in the ocean.

Of the number of Calanus born every year, only 0.0005% are sustainably caught and harvested annually. About 15% of the total Calanus reproduced every year serves as food for a variety of fish.

In the early Fall, the remaining 85% of Calanus make their descent deep into the dark ocean waters where the majority remineralizes into the sea, providing nourishment for the marine ecosystem. Only a small portion hibernates through winter to restart the life cycle. The total collection of Calanus overwintering in the depths of the sea are referred to as the Standing Stock Biomass and is about 33 million metric tons (3). In late winter and early spring, the remaining Calanus make their ascent to the ocean’s surface to spawn and repeat the 1-year life cycle all over again.

Harvesting and Extraction

Zooca adheres to the highest environmental standards in all aspects of its operations from harvesting to extraction. The commitment to minimize the effects on the marine environment is implemented internally through a Policy for Sustainable Harvesting. To support the sustainability of Zooca® Calanus® Oil, Zooca® is committed to a minimum by-catch through technology development and capacity building. This is a carefully managed process to ensure that other species and habitats within the ecosystem stay healthy.

The catching method is a self-developed, patented, environmentally friendly towing system for scooping and harvesting of Calanus. After Calanus is caught, it is immediately frozen on the boat to preserve the full spectrum nutrient profile and to ensure quality freshness.

The annual maximal allowance for the Calanus harvest is 0.08% of the annual new production – which amounts to for every 1140 Calanus each year – only 1 is allocated for commercial fishing.

Because Calanus is such a small organism with a short life cycle, it accumulates significantly lower levels of pollutants than most other marine aquatic species. As such, it does not require a rigorous extraction process as is required for other Omega 3 sources, to ensure a high-quality and pure finished product. The oil is gently refined, without the use of chemicals. Ensuring a natural and unprocessed product.

The production technology allows for 100% utilization of the Calanus raw material. As such, the resultant nutrient extraction process is a waste-free, fully integrated process, that includes a gentle low-heat process without the use of any solvents or additives. Only water and enzymes are used in the process, and only water remains in the end.

From catch to capsule

The fatty acid and nutrient profile of the finished product mirrors that of Calanus in the sea. The broad range of 40+ fatty acids not only highlights the oil’s natural origins but also provides a balanced and diverse nutrient profile, which helps maintain optimal health and well-being. Different fatty acids hold different critical functions such as cell receptor signaling, gene expression, and regulation of fuel energy homeostasis under various physiological conditions.

Additionally, the naturally occurring astaxanthin in the product, ensures potent antioxidant protection and long-term stability, without having to add additional antioxidant stabilizers. Zooca® Calanus® Oil is naturally stable as a finished product for up to three years.

Zooca® has been committed to science, research, and sustainability for over 20 years.

With 18 studies including clinical and safety studies, and more underway, Zooca® Calanus® Oil has been demonstrated to be beneficial for supporting healthy aging, including maintaining a healthy metabolic profile.

Zooca® Calanus® Oil is emerging as a full-spectrum, whole-body solution to optimizing human and ecological health and sustainability.


  1. The Norwegian Sea Ecosystem by Hein Rune Skjoldal (Table 17.1, page 483).
  2. The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022, FAO
  3. Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, Management Plan for Calanus finmarchicus, 2016

The Norwegian-based company Zooca® has created a revolutionary
bio marine value chain focused on the sustainable harvesting of Calanus finmarchicus, the largest renewable animal resource in the Norwegian Sea.

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