Some good news.
Ocean plankton restoration is healing the ocean – record births reported
In 2006, scientists predicted that the saltwater fish would be gone by 2048. Things were on a downward trend because of chemicals being spilled into the ocean, temperature fluctuations and overfishing.
We knew that a reduction in their food supply would effect them, but it was only recently that the gravity of the situation sunk in. 90% of the fish and other ocean life have perished in the last 100 years and 7% of ocean life had gone extinct.
Thus began the largest plankton restoration project in history. After six years of planning, a micromeasurement of a hematite iron ore dust was scattered across the Pacific NW. The mineralization revitalized a patch of deadened ocean and plant life began to bloom. In total, 120 tons of dust was used in a 30,000 square kilometer patch of water. This is to say if you ground up one grain of salt and spread it out amongst a cubic meter of water.
Russ George, the man who formulated and helped execute the project, explains. “So here’s how we did it. We took a single fishing boat, loaded it with ocean science gear, scientists, villagers, and a bit more than 100 tonnes of our favourite rock dust. It took weeks to spread the dust as we needed to put such a a tiny amount in such a vast area. The ocean plankton pastures thrive when they have 1/millionth of the iron you or I or any fish needs to survive.”
The stunningly over the top success has had a dramatic upsurge in ocean life in the area, with 40x the number of salmon returning one year. Instead of 1 million, 40 million appeared.
In 2013, fishermen caught 226 million salmon when only 50 million had been predicted.
And, now, four baby orcas have been spotted in the same year, instead of one orca being born every 10 years.
Here, Russ George explains his time on the boat and the success of mineralizing the ocean.