On Aug 29, the OceansAlaska shellfish hatchery in Ketchikan became the second hatchery in the state to monitor for ocean acidification. The instrument, known as a “Burke-O-Lator” after its developer Burke Hales of Oregon State University, tracks aragonite saturation, or the suitability of ocean water to form calcium carbonates that shellfish use to form their shells. Shellfish have been identified as a species particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification because corrosive water can impede the shell building process and cause energetic stress for the organism. While Alaska’s shellfish hatcheries are not yet showing the effects of ocean acidification, hatcheries in the Pacific Northwest first began to notice shellfish larvae dying about a decade go. Between 2005 and 2009, shellfish seed production plummeted by 80%, resulting in a well publicized effort to better understand the cause and implications, and monitor the waters around hatcheries.
Ocean Acidification Research MarvinLS 2016-12-17T06:56:48+00:00