Natural upwelling zone between Seychelles and Mauritius

New Scientist reports briefly about the a natural upwelling zone which has been found between the Seychelles and Mauritius by the Shoals of Capricorn Programme. The upwelling zone may well be one of the worlds most fertile spots of open water. Chris Gallienne from the Plymouth Marine Laboratory and his collegues found more than 500 milligrams of zooplankton per cubic metre of water. Chris said “Certainly it’s among the highest levels you’d ever find in the open ocean.” “It is a very surprising find.” He believes the planton thrive on nutrients brought up to the surface a water is forced over submerged shelves between the islands. Chris also said “I can’t understand why there isn’t a big fishery here.”

From an OTEC point of view there is some very important information to be gleaned from this. First we find a high natural concentration of zooplankton, which is to be expected in a mariculture environment run in conjunction with an OTEC. Secondly this happens naturally in an area which is ideal for hosing OTEC installations. An OTEC could produce similar results, which would be artificial but not damaging to the environment.

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