MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES 

Management strategies use information provided by research and tools that can be used to make sound decisions to effectively conserve marine resources.  Baseline research about organism and community sensitivity to ocean acidification is incorporated into these strategies, in an effort to sustain these resources for the future.

Research

Before management plans can be created it is necessary to have baseline research about the effects of ocean acidification on marine resources, such as Pacific oysters, dungeness crabs and rockfish. The OAP funds NOAA Fisheries Science Centers to expose various life stages of valuable species to present and future acidification conditions. The results of this research have already been considered in management of vulnerable king crab species.  In addition, research is underway to establish baseline measures of chemistry surrounding coral reefs that can be used to evaluate the potential risk of changing ocean chemistry to these valuable ecosystems.   

Management Tools

After models are created that provide a look into the future, these models can be used to create tools for managers to use so that they can test different scenarios on species’ populations and habitats.  Modeling efforts led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are now being used to produce one of these tools for Atlantic sea scallop fisheries. The dashboard will allow managers to test the impacts of different management actions on scallop populations.  In the Pacific Northwest, NOAA, the University of Washington, and shellfish industry scientists have formed a strong partnership to adapt to ocean acidification impacts that have already affected the shellfish industry. Together these researchers determined that acidification was threatening oyster production and offered an approach to address it. They installed equipment to monitor carbon chemistry at shellfish hatcheries and worked with hatchery managers to develop methods that protect developing oyster larvae from exposure to low pH waters.   Early warning tools are now being used to forecast seasonal acidification conditions to enable shellfish growers to adapt their practices.

 

STORIES OF ADAPTATION

Oceans' rising acidity a threat to shellfish — and humans

Oceans' rising acidity a threat to shellfish — and humans

BY: KENNETH R. WEISS, Los Angeles Times

Peering into the microscope, Alan Barton thought the baby oysters looked normal, except for one thing: They were dead.

Slide after slide, the results were the same. The entire batch of 100 million larvae at the Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery had perished.

Saturday, October 6, 2012
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An acidic ocean threatens shellfish farms

An acidic ocean threatens shellfish farms

BY: BRENNAN CLARKE, The Globe and Mail

For more than two decades, Rob Saunders grew his shellfish larvae in ordinary seawater drawn from the pristine natural environment of Baynes Sound, one of the most productive shellfish farming areas on B.C.’s West Coast. Now the water in Baynes Sound is so acidic, Mr. Saunders’ fragile seed stock will die unless he artificially adjusts the PH level in his hatchery tanks. “Because of ocean acidification the only way we can grow any larvae – oysters, clams, mussels, geoducks, you name it – is to take the CO2 out of the seawater,” said Mr. Saunders, CEO of Island Scallops, the largest producer of shellfish seed stock on province’s West Coast. “We would have been out of business this year if we didn’t figure out how to solve the problem.”

Thursday, September 6, 2012
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