As part of their United States of Climate Change series The Weather Channel has posted a story written by Lisa Stiffler (formerly with the Seattle PI) on the impacts of Ocean Acidification on the oyster industry, highlighting Taylor Shellfish Farms – Deaths of baby oysters in the Pacific Northwest are happening at an alarming rate because of increasing ocean acidification due to climate change. For shellfish farmers and the area that depends on them, it’s a more unwieldy foe than they’ve ever confronted.
Shellfish are an indicator species used as biomonitors of health in marine and estuarine environments. For decades, shellfish growers have advocated for research, regulation, and public education to preserve water quality and curb pollution (eg. pulp mill toxins, septic and livestock waste, stormwater runoff). But the new threat lapping at their shore is a much bigger, more unwieldy foe than they’ve ever confronted… ocean acidification. “We’ve been able to tell a story about it,” Bill Taylor said. “Most people are talking theory, but we’re talking about something that happens.”