While seaweed may not sound sexy, global demand for it in food, cosmetics, medicine, and toothpaste has helped female seaweed farmers in Zanzibar earn a decent living for their families for decades.
Now that harvest is being threatened by warming waters, degrading the quality of the seaweed and threatening the livelihood of 10,000 or more of these farmers.
But one company has an idea that will help grow more seaweed and reinvigorate the ocean’s natural circulatory system using a series of polyethylene tubes that make it easier for the colder, denser, more nutritious water from the ocean’s depths to reach the surface and feed plants and fish.
“So what we’re doing is basically sticking a straw down into the deeper parts of the ocean—a couple hundred meters—and circulating some water up to the surface and feeding that into a seaweed farm,” says Joe Katz of the Climate Foundation, based in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
The foundation was one of nine organizations that recently received a total of $2.3 million in awards for innovative ideas in aquaculture through the Blue Economy Challenge.
The Climate Foundation team, led by Brian von Herzen, has been working on ways to restore ocean upwelling using renewable energy for more than a decade. His wave-driven pumps upwelled nutrients and encouraged plankton growth during an experiment off the coast of Hawaii in 2008.
Source: National Geographic // Original Article