Acidification of the ocean as it absorbs extra CO2 from the atmosphere. The oceans have absorbed much of the CO2 emitted in the industrial age, limiting global warming at the cost of making the ocean more acid. This extra acid has been shown to reduce reproductive success in marine plants and animals. Human population pressure on scarce land and fresh water resources demands that we source more food from the sea. Conventional capture fishery of large predator species has already worn out that resource so much that catches have been dropping for years. To bring plenty back to the oceans, and let them provide food for humans, we need to farm the oceans (without repeating the mistakes we have made in farming the land). At present we farm only shallow, sheltered waters but we must extend our reach to deep water to get both the benefits of more food and less acidity.
Pump deep (500m+) water to the surface, using energy harvested at the surface. Exchange heat between it and surface water on the way up to minimise the energy cost of pumping it up and to ensure it lingers at the surface. Farm seaweed in the raised-up water. Away from its usual coastal predators such as sea urchins, seaweed appropriate to the latitude and surface water temperature will thrive on the added nutrients. This can be harvested directly but also provides a nursery and habitat for fish which can be harvested too. The raised-up water will also generate microalgae, which can be harvested by incorporating shellfish in the farms, as well as by the fish above the microalgae in the trophic chain. Solid excreta from the fish and shellfish, and broken fragments of seaweed, will fall back into the deep ocean as marine snow, sequestering carbon for a very, very long term of thousands of years (compared less than a century for planting trees for subsequent commercial harvest).
1. That we will find nations willing to support the approach, partially excluding shipping from areas in their EEZ as well as allocating nursery space in their Territorial waters.
2. That in the EEZ' of willing nations, there will be sufficient areas with deep enough water to sequester a proportion of the captured carbon.
3. That there will be native seaweed species that can grow well on rope structures anchored in these areas of deep water. We do not wish to introduce species from distant areas.
4. That the native species we grow will have commercial potential. This can include Food, Feed and other high-medium value uses. Only with massive scale can biofuel be eventually viable.
Political and legal concerns- operating at sea requires the consent and support of a nation. Investors must have a reasonable expectation of return, which depends upon being able to establish ownership of the means of production and the products. Suitable deep water mostly exists outside territorial waters, and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) regime may not provide sufficient certainty for rapid, large scale implementation funding in some nations. For a massively-scalable solution, we need clear national support for property rights for high seas installations that are not ships or oil rigs.
Strategic patenting for critical pieces to enable investment and defensive publishing for others to maintain Freedom to Operate. Establish relationships with nations having appropriate Territorial Waters for pilot activities. Find sources of capital to enable pilot activities without giving IP to host nations Build portfolio of formal IP and trade secret to leverage consulting activity and royalty income.
We have a considerable knowledge base, calculations etc. We need access to experts to check and validate the proposal. Then we need introductions to potential sources of seed funding.