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Author Topic: A new project in support of salmon  (Read 2697 times)

absolon

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A new project in support of salmon
« on: October 16, 2012, 08:52:10 AM »

Good idea or not?

An experimental project in which 100 tonnes of iron sulphate were dumped into the ocean off B.C.'s north coast is sparking controversy.

The iron-based chemical compound was dumped about 300 kilometres west of the islands of Haida Gwaii in a process called ocean fertilization.

The $2-million project, initiated by the Haida Salmon Restoration Corp., is intended to raise nutrient levels offshore in hopes of reviving salmon populations, according to corporation president John Disney.



http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/10/15/bc-iron-sulfate-dumping-haida-gwaii.html


A bit of background on the finances:

http://www.gwaiitrust.com/AGM_2010.2011/GT_Business_2010.2011/July%2015%202011/OMVC_HP_application.pdf
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alwaysfishn

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Re: A new project in support of salmon
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2012, 09:03:25 AM »

I heard that as well.

What are your thoughts on it? They do it in the rivers, is it going to cause problems doing it in the ocean?
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Disclosure:  This post has not been approved by the feedlot boys, therefore will likely be found to contain errors and statements that are out of context. :-[

Easywater

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Re: A new project in support of salmon
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2012, 09:35:30 AM »

I believe that there was some kind of volcanic eruption in Japan in recent years that dumped a lot of minerals into the ocean.
(Thought it was connected to the 2011 earthquake/tsunami but I am not sure).

There was some decent salmon returns in the Pacific and some thought it was from this "fertilization" that occurred as a result.

I suspect that these minerals helped the growth of invertibrates that the salmon feed on.

Edit: could have been in Alaska: http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2010/10/volcanic-ash-plumes-discovered-to-fertilize-planets-oceans.html

« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 09:41:33 AM by Easywater »
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StillAqua

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Re: A new project in support of salmon
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2012, 10:55:28 AM »

I fear the Haida have been mislead into mortgaging their trust funds to pay for this multi-year project. They appear to be banking on selling carbon offsets on the international market to recoupe their costs and make a profit. A few problems with that:

1. Carbon sequestering requires blooms of large algae (e.g. diatoms) that suck up CO2 and then sink to the ocean floor, never entering the ocean food chains, otherwise the carbon is just reycled in the ocean surface waters. That won't help plankton feeding salmon and in fact could suck up and remove a lot of other nutrients like nitrogen that do support salmon foodchains, having a negative effect on salmon.

2. If the iron does instead mostly enhance small algae that support salmon food chains, then very little will be sequestered for carbon offsets, so they won't have anything to sell (if they are honest about the algal effects of the project). Even if the experiment successfully benefited plankton feeding salmon like sockeye and pinks (which aren't particulalry abundant in Haida Gwaii), those fish will be harvested everywhere along the coast. So how do they recoupe their costs?

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DionJL

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Re: A new project in support of salmon
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2012, 02:55:37 PM »

1. Carbon sequestering requires blooms of large algae (e.g. diatoms) that suck up CO2 and then sink to the ocean floor, never entering the ocean food chains, otherwise the carbon is just reycled in the ocean surface waters. That won't help plankton feeding salmon and in fact could suck up and remove a lot of other nutrients like nitrogen that do support salmon foodchains, having a negative effect on salmon.

Could you explain this further? Does algae not act like other terrestrial plants "breathing" CO2 and "exhaling" O2 via photosynthesis? 
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shuswapsteve

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Re: A new project in support of salmon
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2012, 08:28:20 PM »

I believe Lake fertilization in this province has been going on since the 70s.  If you type in “Stockner” with “lake fertilization” in Google you will turn up several reports on lake fertilization in BC.  Large lakes like Chilko, Adams and several oligotrophic coastal lakes have been experimentally fertilized.

https://www.cohencommission.ca/en/pdf/InterimReport/Responses/Report%20005/005-%20Bradford%20et%20al.%202000.pdf

I am always sceptical when someone says this early that the results look good.  I am not really certain if much planning went into this venture.  Many people instantly believe that algae is a good thing which it can be, but it can also be a double-edged sword.  Be careful about what you wish for, Mr. Disney.
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StillAqua

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Re: A new project in support of salmon
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2012, 03:52:39 PM »

Could you explain this further? Does algae not act like other terrestrial plants "breathing" CO2 and "exhaling" O2 via photosynthesis? 

Yes, algae, like terrestrial plants, take up CO2 from the ocean surface waters, and turn it into organic carbon biomass (like any plant). It's what happens to it next that matters. If zooplankton can eat it, they convert a large part of the organic carbon back to CO2 (just like you do when you eat your veggies) and release it back to the ocean surface waters. If the algae is too big or has hard shells or spines (like diatoms, dinoflagellates, etc.) that make them difficult for the zooplankton to eat, they accumulate and sink from the surface waters. It's the algae that sink to the oceans depths and sediments that "permanently" remove CO2, in their organic carbon biomass, from the ocean surface.

There's a decent wiki article on iron fertilization if interested http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_fertilization
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