Showing posts with label fish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fish. Show all posts

October 09, 2014

Greening deserts are very bad for the fish in the oceans

Nextbigfuture interviewed Jason McNamee, former Director and Operations Officer of the Haida Salmon Restoration project and now Scientific Advisor to the World Aquarium and Conservation for the Oceans Foundation. Jason provided a lot of information and I will provide a series of articles related to his information. He educated me about processes in the deep ocean (100 miles from the coast) and how more still needs to be learned. Nextbigfuture covered how the 120 ton iron fertilization in 2012 increased salmon catches in 2013 and 2014.

Most people have been hearing warnings about desertification and how the deserts are increasing. Actually the deserts are becoming more green and are producing less dust. This is driving the steady reduction of iron into the oceans by about 1% per year. 42% more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means that plants in the desert need to breathe less and keep more water. Less dust from the desert means less iron into the ocean. Iron shortage in the ocean is the key factor that is reducing algae and plankton in the ocean. There is plenty of nitrogen and phosphorous. Less algae and plankton causes reduction in the amount and size of fish.

China has massive projects to spray the desert with bacteria and carpet bomb the desert with seedling plants.

Oceans cover 71% of the Earth's surface

About 3% is icecap and ice sheets.

Fish supply the greatest percentage of the world's protein consumed by humans.

Deserts cover about one fifth of the Earth’s land area and occur where rainfall is less than 50 cm/year.

Sahara desert supplying the Atlantic with dust and iron

June 23, 2014

Bureaucracy and hurdles for attempting to reduce excess carbon or feed the people

Iron Fertilization sequesters carbon

An international research team has published the results of an ocean iron fertilization experiment (EIFEX) carried out in 2004 in the current issue of the scientific journal Nature. Unlike the LOHAFEX experiment carried out in 2009, EIFEX has shown that a substantial proportion of carbon from the induced algal bloom sank to the deep sea floor. These results, which were thoroughly analysed before being published now, provide a valuable contribution to our better understanding of the global carbon cycle.

Over 50 per cent of the plankton bloom sank below 1000 metre depth indicating that their carbon content can be stored in the deep ocean and in the underlying seafloor sediments for time scales of well over a century.

Iron Fertilization helps restore fish populations

In 2012, the distribution of 120 tons of iron sulfate into the northeast Pacific to stimulate a phytoplankton bloom which in turn would provide ample food for baby salmon.

The verdict is now in on this highly controversial experiment: It worked.

In fact it has been a stunningly over-the-top success. This year, the number of salmon caught in the northeast Pacific more than quadrupled, going from 50 million to 226 million. In the Fraser River, which only once before in history had a salmon run greater than 25 million fish (about 45 million in 2010), the number of salmon increased to 72 million.

The cost for iron fertilization would be “ridiculously low” as compared with any other possible method of carbon sequestration. For quite seriously all you need to do is throw rubbish over the side of the ship to make it happen.

No, really: ferrous sulphate is a waste product of a number of different industrial processes (if I’m recalling correctly, one source would be the production of titanium dioxide for making white paint, a large industry) and it really is a waste. It gets thrown into holes in the ground

June 22, 2014

Critics of Iron Fertilization said there would be toxic algal blooms, but what else changed in 2012 that might be causing the record salmon runs ?

In 2013 and 2014 we are seeing record Salmon runs, it seems possible that iron fertilization has played a part in this success.

In 2011, Scientific American ran an article asking what is killing off the Fraser River Sockeye Salmon ? A sockeye salmon run with a historical average of eight million fish worth over $1 billion. Since the early 1990s the numbers of Fraser sockeye have steadily dwindled, reaching a particularly troublesome nadir in 2009 when more than 11 million sockeye were forecast to return and only 1.4 million showed up.

The large number of missing Fraser River sockeye in 2009 prompted a Canadian federal judicial inquiry into the matter, the Cohen Commission. And just to underscore how little scientists understood of the fish, the sockeye run in 2010 was a once-in-a-century bonanza, with 34 million fish flooding the river. "From a historic low to a historic high almost—that creates a lot of uncertainty for management but it also raises questions on why it's swinging so much," says U.B.C.'s Farrell. The USGS's Winton points out that the sockeye run of 2010 was an anomaly, in the face of a steady and worrisome decline in Fraser sockeye over the years.

There was a Salmon fact sheet that considered the 2010 30 million Sockeye salmon run an anomoly.

June 21, 2014

Russ George blogged about the Fraser River Sockeye Salmon Run getting almost twice the previous historic 1900 record after Iron Fertilization of the Ocean in 2012

About 20 months ago, an American businessman conducted a massive ocean fertilisation test, fertilizing around 100 tonnes of iron sulphate off Canada's coast, it has emerged the Canadian government may have known about the geoengineering scheme and not stopped it. Satellite images confirmed the claim by Californian Russ George that the iron has spawned an artificial plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometres. Now it appears that the fish catch in the area was boosted by over 100,000 tons.

Pink salmon mature in two years. Salmon can add a pound a month if they are well fed in the ocean. 2013 had the largest pink salmon run in 50 years

Projections from throughout the ocean and fisheries science venues are advising that this years Fraser River Sockeye Salmon runs will be the all time historic high, twice the previous record of 1900.

As many as 72 million of the bright red fish are expected where the largest runs in all of history have never exceeded 45 million. Even if the run is in the mid-range of the estimates at 25 million fish the run will be in the top 6 in all of recorded history.

That high bar on the far right side of the chart is the 2010 run which have been named the volcano miracle salmon. In mid August 2008 the Kasatochi volcano in Alaska erupted and spewed mineral rich ash onto a part of the NE Pacific ocean salmon pasture. The vibrant ocean bloomed just in time to feed the Fraser River Sockeye which instead of mostly starving were treated to a feast. Those very same Sockeye came back to the Faser river 30-40 million strong. The babies from that gigantic run that went to sea in 2012 were never-the-less not much greater in numbers than a typical year. We made sure those baby sockeye swam into their ocean pasture that was replenished, restored, and could feed them all.

The Fraser River sockeye projection is in line with other stunning returns of salmon that coincide with the work to restore their ocean pasture which was successfully accomplished in the summer of 2012. Last falls record runs and catch of Pink Salmon from Alaska south where instead of the expected 50 million fish being caught in SE Alaska 226 million Pinks were caught clearly perfectly fits with the restoration of plankton abundance in the offshore salmon pastures we carried out in 2012.

Treehugger interviewed Russ George about the success of increasing fish

John Laumer (at Treehugger) contacted Russ George, our local iron man, about Zubrin’s story and asked for his [Russ’] comments about the his latest iron seeding project off British Columbia, which, it turns out, had truly amazing, positive impact – from a mere 120 tones of iron sulfide, very thinly applied over an area of the ocean a little larger than the surface of Lake Erie (25,657 km2) , - giving a result that Zubrin fairly termed “…a stunningly over-the-top success.”

About 20 months ago, Russ George conducted a massive ocean fertilisation test, fertilizing around 100 tonnes of iron sulphate off Canada's coast, it has emerged the Canadian government may have known about the geoengineering scheme and not stopped it. Satellite images confirmed the claim by Californian Russ George that the iron has spawned an artificial plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometres. Now it appears that the fish catch in the area was boosted by over 100,000 tons.

Pink salmon mature in two years. Salmon can add a pound a month if they are well fed in the ocean. 2013 had the largest pink salmon run in 50 years

Russ George wants to focus on the fish

Let’s not make this a story all about CO2 and Carbon… it’s really about whether the ocean pastures come back to the abundance of life that they and we enjoyed 100 years ago. My hypothesis is that if we can help replenish and restore the ocean pastures we will see the results in the one thing that mankind is most connected to the ocean by, it’s FISH!

Indeed my experiment, which at a size of 30,000+ sq. km. is perhaps the largest single experiment of its kind ever conducted, has demonstrated that the fish come back in incredible abundance, quickly… All species of fish have responded but the best data comes from those fish who swim back to us instead of making us go hunt them down.
© Russ George

June 20, 2014

More information about salmon and iron fertilization

The largest run of Pink salmon occurs 12-20 months after the fertilization of iron sulphate in the ocean. The iron fertilizer clearly triggered a very large plankton bloom visible from space.

[Fish and Wildlife Service] - Pink salmon mature at 2 years; spawn August - September over coarse gravel and sand, in riffles with moderate to fast currents.

More food could also help pink salmon get bigger to the catchable size. In the rich ocean environment salmon can grow rapidly, gaining more than a pound a month.

There was an Initial Investigation of the North East Pacific Salmon Feeding Waters with Slocum Gliders

120 tons of iron sulphate of fertilization into the ocean boosted fish catch by over 100,000 tons - We get a lot of fish and solve the CO2 climate problem

About 20 months ago, an American businessman conducted a massive ocean fertilisation test, fertilizing around 100 tonnes of iron sulphate off Canada's coast, it has emerged the Canadian government may have known about the geoengineering scheme and not stopped it. Satellite images confirmed the claim by Californian Russ George that the iron has spawned an artificial plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometres. Now it appears that the fish catch in the area was boosted by over 100,000 tons.

UPDATE - Pink salmon mature in two years. Salmon can add a pound a month if they are well fed in the ocean. 2013 had the largest pink salmon run in 50 years.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has completed compilation of preliminary values for the 2013 commercial salmon fishery. Powered by a record pink salmon harvest of 219 million fish, this year’s harvest ranks as the second most valuable on record. At $691.1 million, 2013 is only exceeded by the 1988 harvest value of $724 million. In addition to setting a record for pink salmon, the total number of salmon harvested also set a new record at 272 million fish.

The SE Alaska Pink catch in the fall of 2013 was a 170 million fish more than were expected. The Fraser river and the Canadian catches were also boosted.

The Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation, financed it with $2.5 million of their own savings, and used it to support the efforts of American scientist-entrepreneur Russ George to demonstrate the feasibility of open-sea mariculture — in this case, the distribution of 120 tons of iron sulfate into the northeast Pacific to stimulate a phytoplankton bloom which in turn would provide ample food for baby salmon.

The number of salmon caught in the northeast Pacific more than quadrupled, going from 50 million to 226 million. In the Fraser River, which only once before in history had a salmon run greater than 25 million fish (about 45 million in 2010), the number of salmon increased to 72 million.

Iron sulphate dumping returned over 100 times the value in fish in one year versus the cost of the dumping

Iron sulphate dumping returned about 1000 times the weight in increased fish versus the amount of dumped iron sulphate

Millions of tons of plastic and junk are dumped into the oceans and rivers every year. Iron Sulphate dumping could restore or even increase fish catches beyond historical levels

David Brin points out that ocean-fertilization is the inverse of irrigation. You are adding "land" to water in the form of nutrients.

10,000 years ago we learned to irrigate and make deserts bloom with crops. Add water to land, and life burgeons… but add it WRONG and you poison the land! As happened to the Fertile Crescent, which irrigators un-knowingly covered with salts, transforming paradise into desert.

What irrigation requires - we learned painfully across millennia - is drainage to ensure that the water you are adding will ALSO wash salts away. That's the difference between the Euphrates Valley, which was choked by poor drainage, and the Ganges and Nile which are still fertile after 5000 years of irrigation.

Fertilize into very strong currents that are rich in Oxygen? That is exactly how upwellings along the Chilean coast or the Grand Banks engender the world's greatest fisheries. Fertilizing other strong currents would be like well-drained irrigation. It could work, if carefully watched.

At least, that is a reasonable interpretation of all that we can see. Why not do the validation experiments scientifically and openly, instead of leaving this to fly-by-nighters?

June 09, 2014

Fish Farming is how the world will get most of its meat in the future and it can be environmentally produced

For global fish availability to meet projected demand, [the World Resources Institute] estimates that aquaculture production will need to more than double by midcentury, rising from 67 million tons (Mt) in 2012 to roughly 140 Mt in 2050. This level of growth could bring about significant food security and development benefits. For example, we estimate it could close roughly 14 percent of the “gap” between global animal protein consumption today and that needed in 2050. In addition, it could boost income and employment, particularly in developing countries where most aquaculture growth will occur.

Fish and shellfish are already among the most eco-friendly sources of animal protein, Waite tells The Salt. They don't emit anywhere near the amount of greenhouse gases that , and most farmed fish convert feed into edible meat very efficiently. Producing an additional 80 million tons of farmed fish per year by 2050, Waite says, would be much easier on the planet than producing an additional 80 million tons of beef.

Over the past 20 years, fish farms have greatly reduced the amount of fish meal they use in their feed, the report finds. As we've noted, a few salmon farms in South Africa are replacing fish meal with to take fish farms' pressure off the oceans.

We can use less feed if we can get people to eat more seafood that's lower on the food chain. Tilapia, catfish, carp — as well as mollusks like oysters, scallops and clams — don't require as much feed.

May 22, 2014

World Aquaculture production increased by 10 million tons in 2012 compared to 2010

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reports around 80 million tonnes of fish were caught "wild" in 2011-12 and global aquaculture production set another all-time high at more than 90 million tonnes, including nearly 24 million tonnes of edible plants like seaweeds. In total, the world harvested an extra 10 million tonnes of aquatic food in 2012 compared to the previous year, says the report.

Global fisheries and aquaculture production totalled 158 million tonnes in 2012 - around 10 million tonnes more than 2010.

An estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food are lost per year -- to about one-third of all food produced. This figure includes post-harvest fish losses, which tend to be greater in small-scale fisheries.

February 09, 2014

Fish to 2030 - Prospects for Fisheries and Aquaculture

Fish already represent 16.5% of all animal protein consumed globally and 6.5% of all human protein consumption.

During the last three decades, capture fi sheries production increased from 69 million to 93 million tons; during the same time, world aquaculture production increased from 5 million to 63 million tons (FishStat). Globally, fish currently represents about 16.6 percent of animal protein supply and 6.5 percent of all protein for human consumption (FAO 2012). Fish is usually low in saturated fats, carbohydrates, and cholesterol and provides not only high-value protein but also a wide range of essential micronutrients, including various vitamins, minerals, and polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids (FAO 2012). Thus, even in small quantities, provision of fish can be effective in addressing food and nutritional security among the poor and vulnerable populations around the globe.

The model projects that the total fish supply will increase from 154 million tons in 2011 to 186 million tons in 2030. Aquaculture’s share in global supply will likely continue to expand to the point where capture fisheries and aquaculture will be contributing equal amounts by 2030. However, aquaculture is projected to supply over 60 percent of fish destined for direct human consumption.

August 08, 2013

Healthier for people, more environmentally friendly and more efficient fish farming that is independent of any wild fish feedstocks

1. Australian CSIRO scientists have perfected the Novacq™ prawn feed additive. Farmed prawns fed with Novacq grow on average 30 per cent faster, are healthier and can be produced with no fish products in their diet, a world-first achievement in sustainability.

Until now, Australian prawn farmers have needed to feed their prawns with a pellet that includes some sustainably sourced fish meal or fish oil, in order to ensure that the prawns grew fast, and were a healthy and high quality product for consumers.

Novacq is an entirely natural food source based on the smallest organisms in the marine environment, the marine microbes which are the foundation of the marine food pyramid.

Production of Novacq relies on the controlled production of these marine microbes. CSIRO researchers have discovered how to feed and harvest them, and convert them into a product that can then be added to feeds as a bioactive ingredient, like a dietary supplement for prawns.

Including Novacq in the diet of farmed prawns has shown for the first time that fish meal and fish oil can be completely replaced in the prawn diet, potentially freeing the prawn aquaculture industry from reliance on wild fishery resources.

May 10, 2013

Fish farms provided 66.5 million tons in 2012 about 42% of total world fish production

Aquaculture Production in 2012 is estimated at around 66.5 million tonnes. This is based on the preliminary data for several major producers and projections for others, the world aquaculture production of food fish in the year 2012 is estimated at around 66.5 million tonnes. World aquaculture production of food fish reached 62.7 million tonnes in 2011, up by 6.2% from 59 million tonnes in 2010. The estimated value of farmed food fish is USD 130 billion. Farmed aquatic algae production in 2011 was 21 million tonnes, worth USD 5.5 billion.

World fish production is expected to rise to 172 million tons in 2021 and aquaculture (fish farming) will provide about half of that amount.

February 18, 2013

Next Generation Fish Farming will Multiply the Yield

Improvements in fish-farm construction are also expected to boost aquaculture production.

1. Split Ponds for Boosting Yield

Catfish farmers have found success with split-pond designs. Such a design entails separating a smaller area, where the fish are kept, from a much larger area, where the water is treated. Split-pond farming has helped catfish farmers see their yields triple to 15,000 pounds per acre from 5,000 pounds per acre in the last several years, according to Silverstein.

2. Microbial Fish Food

Frequently, farmed fish have to be fed fish oil near the end of their lives to help make them healthier for humans to eat. One of the ways to mitigate that dip in nutrition could be to turn to an alternative source of fish food: microbes.

Researchers are currently trying to perfect the production of various microbes that could bulk up a farmed fish’s diet, thereby cutting the amount of food and agricultural land used indirectly by fish food production.

Margareth Overland, a nutritionist with the Aquaculture Protein Center at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, said one of the more promising microbial sources for fish food is yeast grown on processed spruce wood. Algae and bacteria are also being studied.

However, microbe-based food is years away from being ready to supply large industries, and researchers still need to conduct taste tests to make sure there's nothing especially fishy about a salmon that's been dining on yeast.

July 10, 2012

World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2012

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2012 reveals that the sector produced a record 128 million tonnes of fish for human food - an average of 18.4 kg per person - providing more than 4.3 billion people with about 15 percent of their animal protein intake. Fisheries and aquaculture are also a source of income for 55 million people.

Aquaculture (fish farming), which is projected to reach about 79 million tonnes, rising by 33 percent over the period 2012–2021 compared with the 3 percent growth of capture fisheries. This projected increase is not based on much genetically modified fish adoption.

Increases projected to 2021
* 33% more from aquaculture
* 15% more for fish overall
* 80% boost from chicken (70 million to 126 million tons)
* 40% boost from pork (90 million tons to 126 million tons)

Capture fisheries and aquaculture supplied the world with about 148 million tonnes of fish in 2010 valued at US$217.5 billion.

Production growth from aquaculture keeps outpacing population growth, and it is one of the fastest-growing animal food-producing sectors - trends that are set to continue.

Fish and fishery products are among the most-traded food commodities worldwide. Following a drop in 2009, world trade in fish and fishery products has resumed its upward trend driven by sustained demand, trade liberalization policies, globalization of food systems and technological innovations. Global trade reached a record US$109 billion in 2010 and 2011 points to another high estimated at US$125 billion.

Output from fisheries and aquaculture is expected to soar 33% over the next decade, reaching 172 million tons in 2021. Last year, 90.4 million tons of fish were caught while 63.6 million tons were raised – about 600 species bred in 190 countries. But the share of farm-bred fish is expected to pass the halfway mark around 2018 and reach 52% by 2021.
Chicken, Fish and Pork are projected to increase through 2021

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2012 (230 pages)

June 30, 2012

Solutions for Ocean Acidification

Ocean acidification is the name given to the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth's oceans, caused by the uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. About a quarter of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere goes into the oceans, where it forms carbonic acid.

As the amount of carbon has risen in the atmosphere there has been a corresponding rise of carbon going into the ocean. Between 1751 and 1994 surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from approximately 8.25 to 8.14, representing an increase of almost 30% in "acidity" (H+ ion concentration) in the world's ocean.

Iron Hypothesis
The Iron Hypothesis has been proven to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It works by adding finely ground iron into the ocean which stimulates photosynthesis in phytoplanktons. The phytoplankton converts the ocean’s dissolved carbon dioxide into carbohydrate and oxygen gas. In 1993 John Martin and his associates spread a soluble solution of finely ground iron into a small patch of ocean near the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Their results, along with a dozen other open-sea experiments confirmed that adding iron to the ocean increases photosynthesis in phytoplankton by up to 30 times.

Issues the scientist face includes producing the finely ground iron, dispersing the iron into the sea and increasing the iron solution’s shelf-life. The amount of soluble iron dispersed into the ocean needs to be closely monitored. Algae can bloom from the excess oxygen generated by the phytoplankton and possibly suffocate the marine life below. And when the algae die, their bodies dump massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the ocean all at once, harming calcareous sponges.

January 25, 2012

Environmental Benefits of lab-grown meat and genetically engineered fish

UK Guardian - a recent study calculates that cultured meat has 80-95% lower greenhouse gas emissions, 99% lower land use and 80-90% lower water use compared to conventionally produced meat in Europe. Every kilo of conventionally produced meat requires 4kg-10kg of feed, whereas cultured meat significantly increases efficiency by using only 2kg of feed. Based on our results, if cultured meat constituted half of all meat consumed we could halve the greenhouse emissions, and increase the forest cover by 50%, which is equivalent to four times of Brazil's current forest area.

The measurement of feed for kilogram of meat is for beef.

Cattle require 8-10 kilograms of feed per kilogram of live weight. Poultry require 3 kilograms of feed per kilogram of live weight. Fish, because they are poikilothermic ("cold-blooded"), only require 1.2 to 2 kilograms or less of feed per kilogram of live weight. No energy is required to maintain body temperature.

The first versions of genetically engineered fish are 10-30% more efficient at converting feed into body mass. Genetically engineered fish are more efficient than lab grown beef in converting feed into body mass.

Feed conversion ratio (FCR) at wikipedia

Sheep and cattle FCR 8 kg of feed to put on 1 kg of live weight
Pork (pigs) FCR of 3.4-3.6
Farm raised Atlantic salmon FCR of about 1.2
Tilapia, typically, 1.6 to 1.8
Poultry (chicken) has a feed conversion ratio of 2 to 1

December 05, 2011

Industrial-Sized Rooftop Fish Farm and garden Planned for Berlin to prove sustainable urban agriculture

The Frisch vom Dach, or Fresh from the Roof project, plans to create a 7,000-square-meter (1.73 acre) roof garden, complete with a fish farm, to provide Berliners with sustainable, locally-grown food. They hope to sow the seeds of a new form of urban agriculture, arguing that traditional farming needs to evolve -- and soon.

In 2013 they plan to harvest lettuce, herbs and tomatoes, as well as raising different species of fish from the roof of a former malt factory in Berlin's Schöneberg district. Once their unorthodox farm is established, they expect to produce tons of vegetables and fish each month.

Key to their plans are a row of massive vats near the top of the rambling factory. Formerly used to dry barley, they want to repurpose the containers as a fish farm.

September 29, 2011

Stacked shrimp farms will enable 1 million pounds of shrimp per acre of water which is 15 to 50 times more per acre

They may look like bunk beds on steroids, but a new shrimp production technology developed by a Texas AgriLife Research scientist near Corpus Christi promises to revolutionize how shrimp make it to our tables. The patent-pending technology, known as super-intensive stacked raceways, was created by Dr. Addison Lawrence at the Texas AgriLife Research Mariculture Laboratory at Port Aransas, who says the system is able to produce record-setting amounts of shrimp.

“These tanks require stringent control and supervision, 24/7 monitoring with computers tracking the shrimp,” he said. “But properly run, these systems can produce up to 1 million pounds of shrimp per acre of water, or two acres of land per year,” he said “That’s far superior to traditional shrimp farms in the U.S. that can produce only up to 20,000 pounds of shrimp per acre of water per year. In tropical countries that have year-round growing seasons, they can produce up to 60,000 pounds of shrimp per year.”

This breakthrough in aquafarming increases production by 15 to 50 times.

Dr. Addison Lawrence, left, points to the lower section of his super-intensive stacked raceway shrimp production system to Dr. Maurice Kemp, president of Royal Caridea. (AgriLife Research photo by Patty Waits Beasley)

July 22, 2011

China Aquaculture up to 53.5 million tons in 2011

I see fishing developnig to the state we have with farms and ranches. Managed human dedicated ecosystems. There are almost no wild cows or buffalo but there are plenty on ranches.

In 2004, the total world production of fisheries was 140 million tonnes of which aquaculture contributed 45 million tonnes, about one third. The growth rate of worldwide aquaculture has been sustained and rapid, averaging about 8 percent per annum for over thirty years, while the take from wild fisheries has been essentially flat for the last decade. The aquaculture market reached $86 billion in 2009.

December 24, 2010

Growing seaweed can solve ocean acidification and solve global food supply

Large-scale cultivation of sea lettuce can help reduce acidification of the oceans. And help solve the global food supply problem to boot.

Ocean acidification is an effect of having too much carbon dioxide. The other effect of too much carbon dioxide is global warming. Growing 180,000 square kilometres of sea lettuce (ulva lactuca) could be part of geoengineering a fix for too much CO2.

This idea, presented by Wageningen (UK) biologist Ronald Osinga, came as a surprise to delegates at the international coral symposium held in Wageningen last week. The symposium was an initiative by the International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS) and focused on the effects of climate change on coral reefs. Acidification of the oceans is one of the problems, and corals are highly sensitive to it. They become bleached and the calcium they contain dissolves.