Science

ragland

Hematite rock dust being tested at sea 2002 near Hawaii

Here at Ocean Pastures we’ve been pursuing the sciences that are necessary to engage in real ocean pasture stewardship for more than 20 years. Like most technology companies we started out with business research and modelling. Our start was made in partnership with a consortia of leading Canadian energy corporations in 1999. Without their confidence and financial support we’d likely have withered on the vine. Alas they withered first as Canada failed to honor stated goals in the world of climate change, and without regulatory requirement large corporations simply don’t pursue solutions.

We’ve conducted experiments at sea since 2002, again in 2006-2007,  and more recently 2012 in our most intensive and extensive scientific study of ocean pasture ecosystems.

Starting in the winter of 2010/2011 and carrying on to this day we’ve engaged in a comprehensive study of the meso-scale ocean eddy pastures of the NE Pacific. By the late summer of 2012 we’d amassed a collection of over 168 million discrete measurements and collected tens of thousands of water and biological samples.

In the summer of 2012 we followed our pilot project scientific design that matches very closely to the experimental design of a number of the worlds leading ocean science institutes, the ISIS consortia. The scientific community has been engaged for more than two decades in the deliberate replenishment of mineral micro-nutrients for the purpose of the restoration and scientific study of plankton blooms, our ocean pastures.

The ocean science community has for years called for larger more intensively studied bloom replenishment studies involving meso-scale ocean eddies of about 100-200km in diameter replenished with about 100 tonnes of iron rich dust. Those institutional organizations stood fast to demands for upwards of $200 million in public funding to support their plans. The price tag has proven for many years to be too fat for even a consortia of governments port barrels.

This is precisely what we have done. The jury has now come in, swum in as a matter of fact, and salmon catches and returns up and down the west coast of N. America are now in some regions like Alaska the largest in all of history, in other regions further south the salmon returns are merely the largest in 50 years.

IT JUST WORKS!

satellite view of 2012 bloom

2012 NE Pacific Project in the Gulf of Alaska This work has resulted in the return of salmon on the Pacific coast to the greatest abundance in history. IT JUST WORKS!

This image from space satellites from the late summer of 2012 reveals chlorophyll/plankton abundance in false colour, red is most. Near the centre of the image bracketed by curved red lines is our restored ocean pasture in all its blooming glory. All along the coast where minerals are abundant the plankton blooms in similar abundance. Farther out to sea beyond the reach of coastal minerals the ocean blooms disappear.

As of the fall of 2013 positive results have been pouring in. Alaskan fishermen just made the largest catch of salmon in state history going back more than 100 years. The majority of the catch was the northern Pink salmon which were a primary species and cohort we hoped were resident in our restored ocean pasture. It’s clear they were and instead of mostly starving they were treated to a feast and returned in stunning numbers 226 million instead of the 50 million expected.

All up and down the west coast those salmon species and cohorts known or suspected to make use of the ocean pasture habitat where we performed our replenishment of mineral micro-nutrients and restored those pastures to health have seen those salmon return and they are still swimming home in the largest numbers in history.

It Just Works!