Seaweed Farming in Underwater Forests

Seaweed Farming in Underwater Forests
Salted Dulse

We live in a time of change. We need radically new ideas to handle global warming, food shortages, animal extinction, carbon footprints, and land utilization problems. God has provided more than just land-based resources to meet our food and air quality challenges. Oceans cover more than 70% of Earth’s surface, which seems to be the logical place to address some of these challenges through seaweed farming in underwater forests.

Here are a few advantages offered by seaweed:

1) Seaweed absorbs carbon dioxide. Left alone, it sequesters the carbon at the bottom of the ocean, where it can remain for centuries.

2) Humans can eat some seaweed, such as dulse (Palmaria palmata). It is a nutrient-rich red macroalga that can be used in cooking. Icelanders use it as a snack food.

3) Seaweed can be used as a feed alternative for livestock freeing massive amounts of arable land.

4) Seaweed eliminates the need for watering and applying fertilizer or pesticides while reducing land deforestation.

5) Raising seaweed advances shellfish populations, a significant food source for many people throughout the world.

6) Seaweed reduces ocean acidification protecting ocean life.

7) Seaweed can be grown in areas where land farming is almost impossible. At present, the largest seaweed farm is in the Faroe Islands 62 degrees north latitude, only four degrees south of the Arctic Circle.

Seaweed farming in underwater forests is already practiced by 50 countries around the world today. Our point is that those who blame God for food shortages and environmental issues should realize that God has given us solutions, but He expects us to use them. Instead of using the oceans to dispose of wastes, we desperately need to stop the pollution and start building ocean farms to grow food.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Reference: World Wildlife Magazine for Spring 2021 pages 14 – 19.

Underwater Bees

Seagrass and Green Sea Turtle
Seagrass and Green Sea Turtle

Those of us who live many miles from the ocean may not think about what goes on under the water. Similar to the land, there is an enormous diversity of plants in the sea. Just like land plants, ocean plants have flowers and pollinate and reproduce. Seagrass grows on the floor of the ocean and provides habitat for sea turtles, manatees, and many other marine animals. There are some 60 species of seagrass, and those grasses bloom and release pollen. Like land plants, seagrasses need something like the bees that help pollinate land plants. So are there underwater bees?

Researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico have reported that hundreds of crustaceans and other small insect-like animals visit plants and bring pollen with them. These invertebrates are the “underwater bees.” Along with ocean currents, they allow ocean vegetation to flourish.

As scientists study ways in which carbon can be locked up to avoid high concentrations in our atmosphere, they find that the ocean is a major factor in avoiding runaway greenhouse heating of the earth. Life in the oceans is essential to life on land.

Here is another design feature of this planet which is critical to the long-term existence of life on Earth. In the 1950s, scientists thought that there were maybe five or six factors which would be critical to the existence of life. The famous Drake Equation of how many planets could have life on them only considered five factors in its original format. Now we know there are a huge number of things that have to be “right” to allow life to exist.

Every time we find a new variable, the odds against life occurring by chance on planet Earth become greater. God’s wisdom and design can be seen everywhere around us. Truly, “the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalms 19:1).
Reference: National Wildlife, June/July 2017, page 8.
–John N. Clayton © 2017