Dungeness crab are forecast to take a hit from ocean acidification driven by fossil- fuel combustion, according to a study released this past week. Though the populations of the Dungeness crab fluctuate year by year, their overall abundance by 2063 could be about 30 percent lower, according to federal fishery biologist Issac Kaplan, a co-author of the study, “We think that there will be a moderate decline in a species that is really economically important,” said Kaplan of the Dungeness, which were valued at some $220 million during the 2013 West Coast commercial season. Read more
For the first time, NOAA and partner scientists have connected the concentration of human-caused carbon dioxide in waters off the U.S. Pacific coast to the dissolving of shells of microscopic marine sea snails called pteropods.
“This is the first time we’ve been able to tease out the percentage of human-caused carbon dioxide from natural carbon dioxide along a large portion of the West Coast and link it directly to pteropod shell dissolution,” said Richard Feely, a NOAA senior scientist who led the research appearing in Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. “Our research shows that humans are increasing the acidification of U.S. West Coast coastal waters, making it more difficult for marine species to build strong shells.”
The Connecticut Mirror details the changes in marine species distributions in New England and what this could mean for the future of fisheries in the region.
Over ninety percent of Maine's oyster harvest comes from the Damariscotta River.
Mook Sea Farm in Walpole has been operating along the river for over thirty years and owner Bill Mook is worried about the impact of ocean acidification on his crop.