The Ocean farmers try to save the world with algae

In a bay in Bamfield, a coastal community in British Columbia, Canada, Louis Drühl governs his boat, the Kelp Express, a mile along the mountainous coast. For 51 years he asked Drühl fortuitously this boat Kelp Bay led the Pacific where dangled beneath the ropes surface water of algae that Drühl thoroughly in water for decades collected cold. Referred to by some as “algae guru” -with other than “seaweed Grandpa” -Druehl, 84, was the first commercial algae operators in North America when it grows kelp began a brown seaweed, his 1982 algae is the life: he it examines farmed, cooked, and, best-selling award-winning has been written about him. Over the years, the interest has come Drühl observed in algae and go. But now, as the chaos Causes Climate change on ecosystems around the world, the world as a solution to climate change transform algae. “All of a sudden algae, people have discovered,” says Drühl me. “We have found out.” Algae can play by absorbing carbon dioxide emissions to fight climate change an important role in marine ecosystems regenerate, creating biofuels and renewable plastic materials and the production of proteins of the sea. Until recently, this age-old industry has bred accounts mainly for the food seaweed in Asia, with China as the largest producer of seaweed in the world, for 60% of global volume. But in the last ten years we have made the production of global algae doubled, with an estimated value of $59610000000 in 2019 as interest in algae as a food source, carbon option sinks and produced from renewable sources by consumers, farmers, researchers flowers and entrepreneurs. The coast of British Columbia, where Drühl spent his life is just taking off algae biodiversity hotspot and yet here only industry. It could lead to a job in the sector algae in the area, in 19 pandemic COVID mass redundancies due to. Could this remote corner of the world rich in seaweed algae shift in climate solutions for the future? Drühl is optimistic. “I think we pull out,” While the forest is the best natural defenses have been taken into account in the fight against climate change for a long time, researchers have discovered that the algae, in fact, is the most effective naturally absorb carbon the emissions from the atmosphere. Unlike plant trees, algae do not require fresh water or fertilizer and grow at a much faster rate of trees to expand up to two meters per day. But the biggest competitive advantage is that algae does not compete for the needs of the territory. “When we plant trees, we must ensure that it does not take away the land from food production,” says Katie Lebling, he investigated a researcher with the World Resources Institute removal of coal-team the best way to cover up carbon from the atmosphere, ” But it is not a problem with algae “help algae even if not reduce gas emissions greenhouse: Adding to reduce a small amount of taxiformis-red Asparagopsis algae into animal feed has the methane production potential from cattle up to 99%. concerns about the meat they eat the environmental impact data, seaweed itself a source of protein could be an ecological and nutritious food source to be packaged in the coming years. Ronald Osinga at Wageningen University in the Netherlands found that the growing “Sea vegetable” farms for a total of 180,000 square kilometers, roughly the size of Washington State could provide enough protein for the whole world. “If you look at how we are going to feed the world’s population by 2050 in a way that does not harm the environment, there is only one way,” said Carlos Duarte, researcher and professor of biological oceanography and marine ecology. “For agriculture algae to grow.” It is not only for the local economy, to maintain -. These communities’ The expansion of farming algae can also have social benefits. Along the coast of British Columbia, where Drühl from algae farming offers employment opportunities for First Nations communities where unemployment forced some people to leave the region to find work. A local company called Cascadia algae, which Drühl sits on the edge, working in partnership with First Nations communities to feed the largest supplier of algae grown in North America to be. “We want people to have a job, they can come home,” said Larry Johnson, president of the Nuu-Chah-nulth Seafood Limited Partnership, which is on Vancouver Island aquaculture training live for 15 First Nations communities. “It is not just a local conservation economies it comes to the community.” For thousands of years, living along the coast First Nations people were farmers, especially ground crops and at sea. “Agriculture algae is unique to First Nations communities because it gives us economies of our helps create that align with our traditions,” says Johnson. “Our role has always been to the country to connect and repair.” Although research on algae as a climate change solution significantly over the past decade has increased the discoveries Drühl are not new, in 1970, he was one of the few people aware of the potential of algae. In 1970 Drühl was a professor of marine biology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, where he studied the reproductive biology of algae, a large brown algae that can absorb twice the annual emissions of carbon dioxide in the UK. But then, he says, “the only interest of seaweed people who went to health food stores and saw it as a good supplement to their diet.” This in 1980, changed, taken when OPEC crisis, oil prices skyrocketing, and governments suddenly became desperate to find other sources of oil. Drühl, who was one of the few people who knew about the potential of algae oil, quickly went from an unknown marine biologist on the west coast of Canada to someone to be huge interest in the US government. Drühl called on the Senate to answer questions on algae biofuel, the address, has introduced a promising project for the growth of algae in Bamfield, in partnership with General Electric supervise. But a year and a half into the project, completed the OPEC crisis, oil prices fell, and the means of algae biofuel drained. “We were very disappointed,” said Drühl. dissipated “Even in 1980, we knew we needed alternative energy.” For the next few decades, interest in algae but kept Drühl algae grow, sold in health food stores. “I never left my job,” says Drühl, noting at the time that only “a small number of people”, seaweed wanted. But slowly, interest in algae has grown again. In 2014 algae first analysis of the peer-reviewed paper was published as a solution to climate change to carbon offsets. In the same year, the seaweed is trendy among some of the most famous chefs in the world, with cookbooks in English algae appear in bookstores. Suddenly algae and Drühl once found themselves in high demand. Drühl supply of algae on hotels in British Columbia, including Fairmont, a luxurious five-star resort. “My wife and I were transported to Denmark to give lessons to all these chefs,” he says. “It ‘been a riot.” The business climate is plain sailing ‘From 2014, the algae have more and more to compensate for the spotlight as a solution to climate change due to its ability carbon to a source of sustainable food, and their regenerative properties of marine ecosystems. Over the past five years, several scientific articles published on algae as a solution to climate change and various algae cultivation projects have popped up all over the world. From Saudi Arabia to New Hampshire, seaweed farmers and researchers are experimenting with algae animal feed, biofuels and bioplastics. While the industry for these products is still in its infancy, many are optimistic about its future. “The economic climate the wind in its sails,” said Bren Smith, CEO of Green Wave, an ocean farms. “It comes to the sea, the tide is rising, we can either run and hide and build dams, or you can turn around and embrace the sea as a solution to climate change.” However, doubts remain about whether the algae can be scaled globally as a carbon offset strategy to combat climate change. Profits from the CO2 sequestration algae can be reversed if it is not used properly. If the algae are grown only for the purpose of absorbing carbon without being collected, they will rot and release the captured CO2 into the atmosphere. The researchers say that there are two ways eroding algae in the deep sea or the products used from food to biofuels. But these options are not easy. The technology algae sink is unlikely to cost-effectiveness and the transport process, drying and converting algae into food, biofuels and bioplastics will emit CO2. “Algae in a number of applications that have on the carbon storage that can be part of the solution,” says Halley Froehlich, an assistant professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, who studies scalability breeding algae. “But it is certainly not a panacea.” Growing global algae also environmental risks; too much algae, the amount of light could affect to affect the photosynthetic process to other types it goes down and dangerous impacts on ecosystems of wild ecosystems may have too many nutrients. But for Drühl, saw the interest in algae, they come and go, its future biofuel algae farming goods wax and wane, whether it can be scaled is not a technical issue. It is a question of whether governments, businesses and consumers have to help this sector will thrive. “We are moving along very well technically. We know that algae can improve many aspects of our lives,” says Drühl. “But I do not think things are working in parallel in the political and social world.” For industrial scale says Drühl, national-making organs and international companies and large private investments have the industry to help get her feet off the ground. But at the time, many governments have yet to invest properly or in the Western world in the sector to create the necessary conditions for the scale. In some countries like the US and Australia, it is easier to get a government license for oil and gas, than it is for the cultivation of algae for biofuels. In many Western countries, you can grow algae, they are difficult to obtain. And could the international, regulate all global mechanisms that agriculture algae were developed before the industry was created to leave gaps in the regulatory and permit. “The algae is not the industry in most Western countries,” says Duarte. “It ‘a thought.” But these thoughts somewhere between a pipe dream and a Drühl inevitability fished for half a century. “It ‘s always been kelp,” she says, pointing out that he has always been fascinated by many drone applications. Even during the pandemic, Drühl think algae has a role to play. The industry, he says, could be useful for green jobs for people who have recently become unemployed. Currently Drühl tried his daughter-whose task of convincing, the pandemic has come together struck him in Kelp Bay. “I keep telling myself, we have beautiful kelp business out of here!” But even if the daughter Drühl is not interested in connecting, the family, there is a long line of farmers potential seaweed kelp forward to learning from his grandfather. At the end of our conversation Drühl tells me that discharged at the moment, you look out the window, watching the people in his boat algae. “There is no doubt that seaweed farming can be done on a large scale and can improve our lives.” He says. “We just need the political will.”