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.”