Americans eat only a small number of sea creatures of seafood—namely salmon, shrimp and tilapia. But the world’s warming oceans are shifting undersea ecosystems in a way that will force us to expand our minds and palates, reports Ben Goldfarb in FERN's latest story, published with EatingWell.(No paywall)
As the climate warms and the world’s oceans take up more carbon dioxide, those waters are becoming increasingly acidic, causing damaging corrosion to the shells of many marine species, including oysters.
Climate change is making the Arctic Ocean more acidic as it absorbs C02 from the atmosphere, lowering the water's pH level, says a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Researchers say fossil-fuel emissions will make the oceans more acidic in coming decades and drive down the population of the Dungeness crab, native to the north Pacific coast, by 30 percent, reports the Seattle Times. Federal fishery biologist Issac Kaplan, a co-author of the study, said the research points to "a moderate decline in a species that is really economically important."
Dungeness crab is one of the most valuable commercial fisheries on the U.S. West Coast, worth nearly $170 million in Washington, Oregon, and California in 2014, a short film on Yale Environment 360 says, but the fishery is also threatened. As acidifying waters alter the chemistry of the world’s oceans, scientists and fishermen are just beginning to understand how this economically, culturally, and ecologically important species will be impacted.
Alaska’s crabbing industry will be hit by ocean acidification, but it isn’t clear exactly how, says Alaska Dispatch News.