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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Ocean Acidification Impacts on Shellfish Workshop: Findings and Recommendations

  • Author(s): Dickson, Andrew
  • et al.

For at least the past six years, the West Coast Shellfish industry has observed larval mortality in hatcheries and poor larval recruitment success for some species in the wild, especially during periods of high upwelling. One hypothesis is that these dramatic declines in productivity may be related to increasing ocean acidity and the corresponding decrease in the saturation state of carbonate minerals which shellfish use to create their shells. The West Coast shellfish industry sought help from scientists to explore the causes of the shellfish losses, what role ocean acidification and other factors might be playing, and how to adapt to sustain West Coast shellfish resources. Addressing questions about ocean acidification requires integration of ocean observing measurements, laboratory exposure studies, shellfish recruitment and production data, and field studies of organism performance in relation to ocean conditions. However, these data are collected by different sectors that, to date, have had limited interaction. To stimulate collaborations among these sectors, and at the request of the shellfish farming and wild harvest communities, the Integrated Ocean Observing Systems, California Sea Grant, USC Sea Grant, Oregon Sea Grant, Washington Sea Grant, and California Ocean Science Trust convened a workshop. Fifty‐one participants were invited, including state and federal managers, industry representatives, and leading academic researchers and oceanographers with expertise in larval recruitment, laboratory studies, and ocean chemistry.

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