Disposal at sea: ocean fertilization information for general public

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Ocean fertilization

Ocean fertilization is any activity that stimulates “primary productivity,” such as plankton growth or algal blooms, by adding material to the ocean.  Ocean fertilization has been proposed as a way to store carbon, but to date there is very little information about whether it can do this, and there are concerns that it may cause serious impacts on the marine environment. It does not include traditional mariculture or aquaculture.

Proposed ocean fertilization projects

Ocean fertilization is not currently allowed under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA), as it is considered a form of disposal at sea. This reflects global concern about the practice and international decisions taken not to allow it.

Anyone with plans to conduct activity that may be ocean fertilization should contact Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) for further information before proceeding with the activity.

Further information


Visit the CEPA Environmental Registry to find additional information on the Act.

Learn more about ECCC's Disposal at Sea Program.

Public inquiries centre

Environment and Climate Change Canada
Public Inquiries Centre
7th floor Fontaine Building
200 Sacré-Coeur Blvd
Gatineau QC  K1A 0H3
Tel.: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only) or 819-938-3860
Fax: 819-994-1412
TTY: 819-994-0736
Email: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca 

Marine Protection Programs

Marine Protection Programs Section
Environmental Protection Operations Directorate
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Place Vincent Massey 17th Floor
351 St. Joseph Blvd
Gatineau QC  K1A 0H3
Fax: 819-420-7624
Email: ec.immersionenmer-disposalatsea.ec@canada.ca

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