A project will analyze the ecosystem role of kelp farms to remedy the negative effects of climate change

United States 02/04/2021 – Bezos Earth Fund, the foundation of the owner of Amazón, has financed, together with the World Wildlife Fund, a project that will lead the Bigelow Laboratory of Ocean Sciences, an independent non-profit research institute located in Maine , United States, to study how Kelp seaweed aquaculture can remedy the negative effects of climate change.

The project, endowed with a budget of $ 900,000, will lay the scientific basis for a new tool to help restore the health and productivity of our oceans, in a pragmatic and profitable way to environmental problems and the production of nutritious food.

The kelp algae will be cultivated with the aim of absorbing carbon dioxide as a sink for “blue carbon” and producing more oxygen by improving the surrounding water. In this way, it is sought, therefore, to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the water and thus make it less acidic and more habitable for aquatic organisms.

The cultivation of seaweed for this purpose has traditionally been relegated to the background as the role of seagrass, marshes and mangroves has been given more prominence.

This project has the dual ambition of producing food and reducing the impact. To do this, they will reach agreements with scientists and algae from Maine, Alaska and Norway through the analysis of basic metrics such as concentrations of carbon dioxide, oxygen, salinity and temperature.

This information will be used to create a computer model of water circulation, algae growth and the resulting changes in water quality that will allow them to better understand the impact of algae grown on the study farms and predict the effects of these in other places.

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Another objective of the project will be to gain social acceptance of aquaculture by rigorously documenting the evidence of the benefits of water quality in environments where kelp is grown. These findings will be reviewed by independent scientists, and farmers, the public, and legislators will be informed in ways that foster public interest and develop solutions based on scientific evidence.

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