Seaweed is the unsung hero of our world. Considering that life started in our oceans, it should be of no surprise that they’ll have the final word when it comes to the sustainability of our planet’s ecosystems. Yet the fate of those oceans are under threat, with ocean productivity - the rate at which plants convert carbon into organic material through photosynthesis - declined by 40% since the 1950s.
This decline in productivity is thought to be due to our oceans capturing 90% of heat generated in our atmosphere, creating a thickening layer of warm water near the surface. This heat creates a barrier for the nutrients needed for plankton growth, which is a vital food source for many fish.
These fish fight for survival against the combined effort of these collapsing ecosystems and global fisheries, which have reported a drop in fish catch by 23% per person over the last 25 years, despite an increase in effort by a reported 2500% as international demand rises.
Marine permaculture systems are floating platforms placed at a depth of 25 meters, using wave energy to bring nutrients back to pre-global warming levels. These nutrients restore plankton and kelp growth, and attach to the permaculture structure to form a mini-ecosystem. With polyculture aquafarming, these ecosystems benefit fish as much as they do us, creating a sustainable food source that, with the kelp’s incredible absorption of CO2 and growth rates of 30 times that of land plants, could de-acidify our oceans and consume a whopping 12 gigatons of CO2 per year using less than 10% of our ocean for aquaculture.
With seaweed being increasingly used in plastic alternatives, fuel, cattle feed, and even agriculture fertilizer, this planet friendly farming could transform our lives, and our world.Cited Sources:
Search terms for your own research: marine permaculture effects, what will happen if overfishing continues, pacific dead zone
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