20 Jan 2009

Greenpeace objects to Indo-German Southern Ocean experiment

3:33 pm on 20 January 2009

Greenpeace in Fiji has joined opposition to an Indo-German ocean fertilisation project in the Southern Ocean.

The research vessel, Polarstern, is on its way to the Scotia Sea to begin a large scale experiment that will see iron added to the ocean to cause large algal blooms, which absorb carbon dioxide as they grow.

The 48 researchers want to find out if this method could be used for carbon-trading schemes in future.

But various environmental organisations have called for a halt to the project, prompting the German government to demand an independent assessment before the project is started.

Greenpeace's acting oceans team leader, Seni Nabou, says it's a false solution to the climate crisis.

"It's incompatible with our idea of a global network of marine reserves for clear and healthy oceans for the future and the potential for permanent and unpredictable modifications of marine ecosystems is very unsustainable."

Seni Nabou, Greenpeace Fiji.

However, the Helmholtz Research Institute in Germany maintains the project is safe.