Kelp is the primary reason anyone came to Nostroma. It’s certainly the only reason the Combines, Corporations and Trade Guilds of the Karsan League have spent so much time, energy and money colonising the planet. Now, ZosTeC has the franchise to exploit the planet.
The mineral rich Blue Kelp that is the primary resource of Nostroma is used extensively throughout the Karsan League; as high protein processed foodstuff, in medicines, refined into biomass fuel, even distilled into alcohol. It is also the primary oxygen producer on Nostroma, and provides the planet with the atmosphere necessary for human habitation.
ZosTeC rent, maintain and manage the fleet of huge floating processing and production facilities that have spread across the planet-wide ocean over the past three hundred years. Each is surrounded by sprawling ad-hoc cities or communes that have sprung up, constructed by the countless and faceless harvesters, factory workers and drudges that have made their way to Nostroma to make money from the Kelp Forests.
As everything must be imported onto Nostroma, including the very facilities that Nostroma needs to exploit the kelp, the cities have an aged, industrial feel. Decommissioned ships and factories, rusting shipping containers and the detritus of hundreds of years of human colonisation have been utilised to form floating, decaying cities lashed together and labyrinthine in their complexity. Cities are constantly changing as whole sections collapse and fall into the depths, while new areas are constantly added in an organic, amorphous hodge-podge of necessity and availability of building materials.
The factories and processing plants exist to buy harvested kelp from the cities that support the League facilities. Buyers go out and assess local family-run, or small business kelp farms for quality and quantity. Typically, kelp is bought for minuscule amounts of ZosTeC cash, keeping the peoples of the communes poor while the huge profits go to the purses of the ZosTeC share holders.
Once processed, the kelp is packaged and shipped to the rest of the League via the monthly League trade convoys. It is these trade ships that also bring all that is necessary to survive on Nostroma.