West Coast Ocean Acidification Rates Among Highest In World – KUOW

These findings spell bad news for our shellfish industry as well as our fisheries. It appears we are ground zero for ocean acidification and we have a administration in Washington D.C. that ignores any science that doesn’t fit it’s narrative. It’s all up to us folks. Thankfully we have a governor and representatives  in Olympia that still do believe in science.

The United States is stepping away from the Paris Climate Agreement, but the consequences of climate change will be more difficult to leave behind. Take ocean acidification, a major emerging threat to West Coast fisheries.

Researchers at Oregon State University have recorded some of the highest levels of ocean acidification in the world – and they exist right off the coast of the Pacific Northwest.

http://www.tinyurl.com/y7sjphuy

Ocean acidification a culprit in commercial shellfish hatcheries’ failures – phsy.org

More news on the science coming in that definitively is pointing to Ocean Acidification being the culprit in hatchery mortality rates here.

The mortality of larval Pacific oysters in Northwest hatcheries has been linked to ocean acidification. Yet the rate of increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the decrease of pH in near-shore waters have been questioned as being severe enough to cause the die-offs. Now, a new study of Pacific oyster and Mediterranean mussel larvae found that the earliest larval stages are sensitive to saturation state, rather than carbon dioxide (CO2) or pH (acidity) per se. Saturation state is a measure of how corrosive seawater is to the calcium carbonate shells made by bivalve larvae, and how easy it is for larvae to produce their shells. A lower saturation rate is associated with more corrosive seawater. Cheryl Dybas reports. (PHYS.ORG)

http://phys.org/news/2014-12-ocean-acidification-culprit-commercial-shellfish.html

And this article follows on it.

http://phys.org/news/2014-11-tool-west-coast-ocean-acidification.html#inlRlv

For those wanting to understand the science behind “saturation state” you can find the definition down this page. Just “find” saturation state when you get to it. The formula is there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification

Cliff Mass and hot air – opinion

Last week, regional meteorologist Professor Cliff Mass, called into question the reality of ocean acidification, along with restating his claims that climate change is nothing to worry about anytime soon.

As to his analysis that ocean acidification doesn’t effect us here because of the court filings of the EPA I can confidently state that no one that I’ve contacted that he points to agrees with his conclusions. His misreading of the lawsuit by the Natural Resource Defense Council, and counter suit filings by the State and EPA, is twisting of facts to suit his arguement. He goes on to make points that the whole thing is only being used as a fundraising tool by environmental and grant funding tool by shellfish companies.

My contacts at Taylor Shellfish clearly stated he misinterpreted anything that they told him. They believe Ocean Acidification is real, and a threat to their very business. As to root causes of it, and possible solutions, no one yet has definitive answers, but a lot of people are looking at what those might be. As science should. The suit by the NRDC is stating that they already know enough to take action, while the US EPA and State EPA claim otherwise. To draw the conclusion that they don’t believe it exists from these court filings is absurd.

There has been a poster on the web recently, stating, “If 97% of structural engineers told you that a specific bridge was going to collapse if you drove your car over it, would you trust your life and the lives of your children to the other 3%?”  And the water planners in California, and homeless “climate refugees” in the Methow here in Washington, who have been wiped out by a fire the likes of which has never been seen in the generations that Europeans have been living there, can probably attest, that something is happening here that is outside the box of normal environmental scenarios. 97% of the scientists who study these things call it Climate Change. And they are in agreement over the root cause. It’s man made.

The NOAA web site for Ocean Acidification can be found on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/NoaaOceanAcidificationProgram

And the web site if you aren’t allowing yourself to be monitored for targeted advertising on Facebook.

Here’s the science standing in stark contrast to the outlier, Professor Mass.

http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

climate change

A short film about the shellfish industry

This is about us, now. The impact of ocean acidification on our shellfish industry. Today. A great short film by students at the University of Oregon. Watch it.

This piece explores the effects of ocean acidification because of pollution from CO2 from the point of view of Oregon’s oyster farmers. The state of our ocean’s water quality is changing at a rate that can not be ignored.

 

As Oysters Die, Climate Policy Goes on the Stump – NY Times

Billions of baby oysters in the Pacific inlets here are dying and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington is busy spreading the bad news…. The Democratic governor, aided by what is expected to be millions of dollars from his billionaire friend Tom Steyer, is using the story of Washington’s oysters — scientists say a rise in carbon levels has spiked the acidity of the Pacific and is killing off shellfish — to make the case for passing the most far-reaching climate change policies in the nation. Coral Davenportaug reports. (NY Times)

Read the rest of the story here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/04/us/as-oysters-die-climate-policy-goes-on-stump.html

10 million scallops are dead; Qualicum company lays off staff – Parksville Qualicum Beach News

This in from just over the border. What I understand about scallops is that they are the hardest shellfish to grow, and recent attempts to re-establish them in US Puget Sound waters have been unsuccessful (to commercially viable sizes). Maybe this is why.

High acid levels in the waters around Parksville Qualicum Beach have killed 10 million scallops and forced a local shellfish producer to scale operations back considerably.

Island Scallops CEO Rob Saunders said the company has lost three years worth of scallops and $10 million.

“I’m not sure we are going to stay alive and I’m not sure the oyster industry is going to stay alive,” Saunders told The NEWS. “It’s that dramatic.”

2013 NW Straits Conference Overview

Just got back from a great two days at the NW Straits conference, held in Bellingham. The good folks that steer our Marine Resource Committees always put together a  conference worth attending, and the only unfortunate thing is that they can’t invite the world at large.

Pictured below, Caroline Gibson and Sasha Horst from the NW Straits Commission greet attendees, while Jefferson County Commissioner and ex-fisherman, Phil Johnson discusses net pens.

2013 NW Straits Collage

This year, Washington State Senator Kevin Ranker and Dr. Terrie Klinger started off by giving an update to the state of the science and legislative activity around  Ocean Acidification.  Washington State is at the forefront of global science on this emerging issue, and the Governor has taken the step to create a commission to look into it and get some actions going on this.

Funding for research and data collection is underway, and we were told that funding for educational activities is not,and pressure needs to be exerted to get this to the schools as new curriculum.

Hugh Shipman of the Washington State Department of Ecology spoke on Sea Level Rise in the Puget Sound basin, and Tina Whitman of Friends of the San Juans along with Andrea MacLennon of the Coastal Geographic Services brought people up to speed on how the scientists and policy makers are measuring and planning for sea level rise in San Juan County.

Kathleen Herrmann of the Snohomish County MRC gave a very interesting talk on a new method for gaining public acceptance of MRC goals, using Collective Impact, which is a model framework applied here for marine conservation. Kathleen has done a great job of researching this and applying it to their issues.

Will Stelle, who is the west coast regional administrator for NOAA Fisheries, closed out day one, with a really entertaining overview of the issues facing the west coast. I would have to say that this overview should be mandatory for all of us trying to get a good overview of the state of affairs right now. It’s a huge span of work. Will presents it with humor and passion.

Conservation biologist Thor Hanson was the after dinner speaker, giving an overview on his new book, Feathers. Thor’s enthusiasm for his work is quite funny and, yes, I bought the book.

On day two: there was tracks on Tools for Promoting Ocean Acidification (O.A.) Literacy, and in another room, an overview of Nearshore Habitat Restoration: From Idea to Reality, Advice from Local Experts. In the O.A.literacy program, Alexis Valauri-Orton, the Thomas J. Watson Fellow presented a really interesting look at her recent research work in talking to various cultures around the world being affected by O.A. Paul Williams of the Suquamish Tribe updated us on their efforts to teach the issue, and Meg Chadsey of Washington Sea Grant also presented.

After lunch, in addition to an overview of evaluating metrics and outreach projects, Dan Tonnes and Helen Berry gave great insight into Rockfish recovery efforts and Kelp monitoring and management in Puget Sound.

Will Stelle – NOAA West Coast Fisheries Administrator on Fisheries and Furloughs – 45 minutes long. Download the audio file and listen.  http://sdrv.ms/17Z2Kzi

All these presentations will be put up in both audio and video formats for download within the next week.  Check back for the links to them. 

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