Marine scientists are raising the alarm about a proposal to drop tonnes of iron into the Pacific Ocean to stimulate the growth of phytoplankton, the base of the food web. The non-profit group behind the plan says that it wants to revive Chilean fisheries. It also has ties to a controversial 2012 project in Canada that was accused of violating an international moratorium on commercial ocean fertilization.
The Oceaneos Marine Research Foundation of Vancouver, Canada, says that it is seeking permits from the Chilean government to release up to 10 tonnes of iron particles 130 kilometres off the coast of Coquimbo as early as 2018. But Chilean scientists are worried because the organization grew out of a for-profit company, Oceaneos Environmental Solutions of Vancouver, that has sought to patent iron-fertilization technologies. Some researchers suspect that the foundation is ultimately seeking to profit from an unproven and potentially harmful activity.
Read Full Story: Scientific American/Jeff Tollefson
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