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Seeding the Ocean?

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Seeding the Ocean?

Postby Disperser » Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:34 pm

Just curious if anyone has ever heard of seeding the ocean to promote fisheries.

I can't quite recall where I read it, but nickel and iron are fertilizer for microorganisms, such as plankton, which form the base of the food chain. I have to believe that stainless steel filings or dust then (nickel is what makes stainless steel stainless) would make a perfect fertilizer.

So, has anyone heard of efforts to try this to improve the fisheries, including for salmon? It seems like something we ought to consider, perhaps even on our own. Given how hard it has gotten to trust our government ( joke...never did trust them did we?) perhaps we ought to try it.

Looking at potential impacts, I see none adverse. The only possible adverse effect could be deoxification by blooms, but from what I read, blooms don't happen without an abundance of all nutrients, which would make the water nearly sterile for anything else anyway. All this stainless dust would do is replace what is missing, sufficient nickel and iron to allow the normal amount of microorganisms.

Of course, we could do this completely scientifically, but it would involve measuring the current nutrient load and comparing it to a baseline condition representing the normal load, pre-fishing. And unless we can get archived samples, or data of nutrient loads from back then, I don't see how we can determine what amounts are missing if any. Alternatively, we could measure the microorgansim load, compare it to the needs of the normal food chain, and estimate the need for fertilizer based on the nutrittional needs of the ideal microorganism load.

Whew, its complicated to even write, much less think about trying to find that data.

In the end, perhaps we should just experiment for ourselves, see how our dispersing of stainless dust affects our fisheries, and let the government come in and try to explain the miraculous recovery. For that kind of satisfaction, I would go to the local scrapyard and buy a whole drum of stainless dust.

Better yet, I would love to take out some frustrations and make dust myself with a grinder...

If I ever get a float plane....hmm, I wonder how much it would be to rent a crop duster...

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Re: Seeding the Ocean?

Postby Once and Future » Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:28 pm

Have you heard how one of the Canadian Tribes ticked off their governments a few years ago by dumping a load of iron off the shore of Haida Gwaii a few years ago? Faced millions of dollars in fines, but also claim to have caused a big return of fish - I think salmon. You could look it up. ... le4617262/
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Re: Seeding the Ocean?

Postby Lulu » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:54 pm

It would be nice if the ocean's chemistry was this simple and predictable, but it's not. Love the idea of boosting the food chain in order to increase production. A couple of nickels worth of a trace metal are not going to magically produce a plankton bloom. Sea temperature, currents, available sun light, and deep water nutrients in the proper combination drive the cycle of life in the ocean
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