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GEOENGINEERING: Are Record Salmon Runs in the Northwest the Result of a Controversial CO2 Reduction Scheme?

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The first of a two-part series.

For the past 100 years, the Haida First Nations tribe in Canada has watched the salmon runs that provided its main food source decline. Both the quantity and quality of its members' catch in the group of islands they call home, off the coast of British Columbia, continued to drop.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, they became determined to do something about it. They built a hatchery, fixed watersheds damaged by past logging practices and sent more fish into the ocean for their multiyear migrations.

But the larger influx of fish that went out didn't return, and the search for better solutions for the small village of Old Massett on the north end of Graham Island in British Columbia eventually led the Haida down a path that culminated in the largest ocean fertilization project of its kind ever attempted.

In the summer of 2012, the Haida Salmon Restoration Council (HSRC) joined forces with a California businessman, Russ George, and dribbled 100 tons of iron sulfate into Canadian and international waters in the Pacific Ocean off the back of a ship.

The idea, promoted by George, was that this would stimulate the growth of plankton, which would be eaten by larger ocean dwellers and begin a feeding frenzy by the juvenile fish heading into the ocean. That might ultimately lead to higher survival rates and better fishing results when the fish came back to the island streams to spawn.   
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