The iron creates a plankton bloom, first phytoplankton then another zooplankton bloom that feed upon the phytoplankton, then baby salmon and other creatures feed on zooplankton.
Then things feed on salmon. Bird populations are enriched. Other fish species, tuna, even whales turn up.
How does carbon become sequestered though when it appears to be consumed?
Not all the zooplankton is consumed. If the bloom is too large they starve and die. If the species are diatom type that produce shells then carbon dioxide becomes sequestered in their calcium carbonate shells that settle on the sea floor.
The story is told backwards in Reverseland, where good things are bad. This is the prevailing version.
George was the guy who persuaded the small impoverished indigenous community of Old Massett on Haida Gwaii to part with over $2.5-million. He did so under the pretense that dumping iron in the ocean to stimulate a plankton bloom would net lucrative profits in the carbon credit market and maybe even bring back salmon stocks. HuffingtonGeorge is the guy. George is the guy who looks for solutions to problems that do not involve courts and governments and environment activist groups hellbent on limiting human activity. George does, the rest obstruct.
It is the kind of bloom you do not want in your aquarium. The project fraught with hazard. There are serious and valid arguments against this type of activity. The type of bloom cannot be controlled, nor the extent fully known nor understood. The scientific community agrees much more study is needed before any large project be undertaken. They are against these types of geoengineering or marine-engineering activities, treaties are signed over this, it violates the London Convention for instance and a whole array of legal arrangements and regulating restrictions. By incorporating with the First Nation tribe Russ George bypassed all that legal claptrap and that sidestepping action infuriates ecologists.
Environmental groups object to the commercial aspect. It involves carbon credits and they astutely observe a scheme when they see one. How dare he fix a problem that needs to stay unfixed and make money besides, by fixing and not by obstructing human activity.
Too harsh? The anti-human activity motives display themselves positively photobombing the pious righteous protestations that say otherwise. First, the absence of whales is bad because of human activity. So human activity should stop or be severely curbed for the sake of whales. And secondly, thrilling as the sight of whales at an oft-visited vacation site is, at last, if the whales are present only because of human activity that takes the shine off then the presence of whales is bad and so is the human activity that brought it. Absence of whales, presence of whales, either way human activity is horrifying.
Russ George is following nature. Volcanic eruptions dump iron and create blooms resulting in increased salmon populations. Three times this was noticed.
According to this article the jury is out. The project a success and spectacularly too. Far greater salmon increase than anticipated or imagined. National Review
Now it is being reported that everywhere from Alaska to the lower 48, baby salmon that swam out to sea, instead of mostly starving were treated to a feast on newly vibrant ocean pastures where once they could neither thrive nor survive. They grew and grew and before too long they swam back to our rivers a hundred million strong.
The SE Alaska Pink catch in the fall of 2013 was a stunning 226.3 million fish. This when a high number of 50 million fish were expected. Those extra ocean pasture fed fish came back because their pasture was enjoying the richest plankton blooms ever, thanks to me a[nd] 11 shipmates and our work in the summer of 2012. IT JUST WORKS.Beautiful. This fills my heart with joy. I have a real personal interest in this. Salmon fascinate me. That is my interest. But these pages I've read leave me with lingering questions. The Huffington link has an update, the chief councillor of the Massett tribe told Victoria Times colonist [sic] the tribe intends to stop ocean fertilization.
Why stop fertilizing? How are million more baby fish going to eat when they get there? Do the plankton persist? If not we are back to square one. All of those fish are not caught obviously, quadruple millions more salmon repopulating naturally and now those baby salmon will go out to sea and not be treated to a feast of newly vibrant ocean pastures, rather, they'll starve like before unless there is sufficient plankton leftover. I think the chief said that to get environmentalist/obstructionist off their backs. When the time comes should they need to, they now know how easily remedied the situation. Native Americans can get away with things regular citizens cannot.
The tribe fired Russ George.
No matter, he owns just short of half the corporation between them and he replaced himself with an associate. For show. To partially placate activists I suppose who require at least some personal destruction. But none of that matters. The effort a success.
I want to go salmon fishing. Just once. I shouldn't have mentioned that to a friend because now the gears are going and it is all I hear about, how are my plans coming? I didn't mean it to be a thing to plan out as a discrete endeavor, I meant I'd like to go fishing with my brother or with my sister, as they've done together and with no fascination for salmon as I have, while visiting either one up there in the corner as a natural thing to do together, not fly in an airplane just for one fish. Besides, freshwater trout fishing right here in Colorado is outstanding.