While overfishing no longer threatens U.S. fisheries, other pressing sustainability issues, such as finfish aquaculture and consolidation, top the list of concerns among fishers and fisheries experts, according to panelists who spoke at FERN Talks and Eats in New York City on Monday.(No paywall)
The waters off the U.S. Pacific Coast are suffering from ocean acidification “hot spots,” says a new study of 600 miles of coastline. The study recorded some of the lowest pH levels ever found in surface water.
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.
California’s coastal ecosystem is in the midst of a massive “disruption” because of climate change, says the San Francisco Chronicle. For example, warmer waters have stalled the growth of kelp forests, causing sea urchins, which depend on kelp as their main food source, to mature abnormally. Their spiky shells are nearly hollow, and North Coast divers have brought in only one-tenth of their normally lucrative catch.
Hotter ocean temperatures have nearly tripled the incidence of waterborne food illnesses, says the Seattle Times. Roughly a dozen species of vibrio bacteria make people sick from eating undercooked seafood — particularly raw oysters — and from swimming in tainted water.
In the northeast United States, scallops, eastern oysters, the quahog clam and Atlantic salmon will be the most vulnerable to changing ocean conditions associated with climate change, a federal study says.