Cryptic Alaska "blob" is an algae bloom

Jul 20, 2009 Full story: Boing Boing

The mysterious massive "blob" moving through the Arctic Ocean is actually an algae bloom.

Full Story
Don Mitchel

Rochester, NY

#1 Jul 21, 2009
Dear Sirs, As the Arctic opens to new shipping routes and since 911 we need federal protection provided by our military to enact a federal policy on ballast dumping. Do we know if these mysterious algae blooms can act as host to pathogens and virus? Are they man made? Interesting how ocean currents out beyond even the two hundred mile limit could carry disease, toxins, nuclear waste water etc.to islands, and areas of ocean development (mining) and exploration. What temperature activated virus, or other pathogens may be released as the ancient ice melts around the shared area of the poles? The day of designer algae is already here and with new pathogens being released from the ancient fresh water ice melting they could act as a host or their may be existing marine life that will work. The idea that the IMO can do more than promote clean ballast water technology is a throw back to a time when smaller maritime nations could dominate the military power of the sea. Yes we need technology on an international basis, but since 911 we can not afford the risk of our safety, health, and environment, being in only the hands of an international organization of foreign sea captains and state laws, national policy is imperative to our security. H1N1 is one pathogen we were lucky with, what will happen when one like bird flue mutates from bird excrement in water near ships taking on ballast or new mysterious blooms such as this are transported around the world in ballast water, will our country be able to use our military to protect us, under our version, of the law of the sea? All governments need to be involved in inspection, technology, and surveillance. The IMO would be helped in dealing with less prosperous nations if our country would take the lead in policy and development of technology to keep our waters clean. Sincerely Don Mitchel

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