The ocean has rights

Seal Research Trust

St Ives Bay, Corn­wall, is locat­ed at the south­ern­most lim­it of the grey seal pup­ping range, mak­ing it a vital hub for the grey seal pop­u­la­tion, one of the UKs native, her­itage spe­cial­ty marine species. Beyond its nat­ur­al charm, the bay serves as a sig­nif­i­cant tourist attrac­tion, con­tribut­ing essen­tial income to local com­mu­ni­ties. It also plays a piv­otal role for grey seals as it is locat­ed at the south­ern­most lim­it of their pup­ping range. 

In Jan 2021, Seal Research Trust (SRT) first heard about a Cana­di­an Start Up Com­pa­ny Plan­e­tary Technology’s (PT) plans to release thou­sands of tonnes of mag­ne­sium hydrox­ide into St Ives Bay as a geo­engi­neer­ing exper­i­ment, to see if it increas­es ocean alka­lin­i­ty to draw down car­bon diox­ide as a poten­tial cli­mate change solu­tion. PT’s over­sim­pli­fied com­mu­ni­ca­tions dis­played no knowl­edge about St Ives Bay’s ecosys­tem, water chem­istry or com­mu­ni­ty, who had been involved in min­i­mal con­sul­ta­tion. SRT have spent con­sid­er­able time engag­ing with PT, the licenc­ing author­i­ty (the Envi­ron­ment Agency); the facil­i­tat­ing com­pa­ny (South West Water) and the inde­pen­dent audit­ing agency (the Water Research Cen­tre). SRT’s aim is to ensure this project is safe for nature and peo­ple if it goes ahead. The world is watch­ing this project which is a glob­al prece­dent for com­mer­cial enter­pris­es aim­ing to make a for­tune from sim­i­lar projects that are cur­rent­ly unregulated.

For more information visit: