In April, at a smelting factory in Arctic Norway, the world’s largest photobioreactor will begin churning out fish feed grown on pollution. The feed, or microalgae, will provide a critical source of omega oils for prized Norwegian farmed salmon, while digesting carbon dioxide from industrial smoke piped through the bioreactor, says Hans-Christian Eilertsen, a marine biologist with the Arctic University of Norway.
With salmon prices rising around the world, Japan and Norway are using state-of-the-art technology for two huge offshore aquaculture projects in a effort to boost salmon supply while avoiding the problems that plague coastal fish farms, reports Japan Times.
A plague of parasitic sea lice has spread through salmon farms globally, causing an estimated $1 billion in losses and sending prices of farm-raised salmon up 50 percent, according to the Washington Post. "The lice are actually tiny crustaceans that have infested salmon farms in the U.S., Canada, Scotland, Norway and Chile, major suppliers of the high-protein, heart-healthy fish," the Post said. As a result, the industry has contracted by about 10 percent.
An unexpected thaw of Arctic permafrost let water into the famed "doomsday" seed vault 1,000 kilometers from the North Pole, reported Reuters. The water, halted in the entrance hall of the seed repository, "had no impact on millions of seeds of crops including rice, maize, potatoes and wheat that are stored more than 110 metres inside the mountainside," said the news agency.
“Once seeds are secured in gene banks, it is a never-ending — and expensive— job to keep them viable,” writes Virginia Gewin at Yale Environment 360.
The 2016 Alaska salmon harvest is expected to drop 40 percent from last year’s count, says Alaska Dispatch News, primarily due to a routine decline in pink salmon numbers that hits every two years.