The buildup of acid levels in oceans, a consequence of human-caused climate change, threatens to eat away at an important corner of Washington’s economy, according to the report of a state blue-ribbon panel on ocean acidification released on Tuesday.
“Our state should care about this because contact with corrosive water directly effects our shellfish industry . . . We simply cannot sit idly by when this happens,” said William Ruckelshaus, former U.S. Environmental Protection Administrator and co-chair of the panel.
Shellfish aquaculture is a $270 million business and directly and indirectly employs 3,000 people in the Evergreen State. Annual sales of farmed shellfish from Washington make up 85 percent of U.S. West Coast sales (including Alaska).