Phytoplankton and Fisheries
Last time I wrote, we were out watching whales, the biggest creatures in the ocean. This time, let’s start small, with those phytoplankton that are the foundation of the marine food web, the organisms that make water so blue to our eyes. According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, phytoplankton serve as a “biological carbon pump” that transfers about 10 gigatonnes of carbon from the atmosphere to the deep ocean each year. They bloom and retreat. They move and wander through the ocean. They provide sustenance for everything from teeny tiny fish to the great whales I saw off Cape Cod.