APTN National News
OTTAWA-Environment Canada has launched a probe into reports that a U.S. businessman and a company out of Haida Gwaii dumped 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the Pacific Ocean as part of a geoengineering experiment.
The California businessman named Russ George teamed up with the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation to dump the iron sulphate, or iron dust, from a fishing boat about 300 kilometres from the Haida Gwaii islands, according to British newspaper, the Guardian.
Environment Canada said in a statement that its enforcement branch was probing the reported dump.
“The matter is currently under investigation,” the department said in a statement. “It would be inappropriate to comment further.”
According to the Guardian, the Haida Gwaii corporation put $1 million toward the project under the belief it would enhance the ocean environment.
“The village people voted to support what they were told was a ‘salmon enhancement project’ and would not have agreed if they had been told of any potential negative effects or that it was in breach of an international convention,” Guujaaw told the Guardian.
The Guardian, however, reported that the dump violated two UN moratoria.
The iron sulphate dump was aimed at triggering a plankton bloom that would absorb carbon dioxide and act as a carbon sink.
The Guardian article, written by Martin Lukacs, a Montreal-based journalist who has worked with Barriere Lake First Nation, said satellite images had picked up a 10,000 square kilometre artificial plankton bloom.