National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration, Jeremy Testa, Milford discussed on Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal


The national oceanic and atmospheric administration in milford Connecticut. What you're hearing in the background is water that is being dosed with carbon dioxide to simulate the effects of ocean acidification. She's grown surf clam sea scallops, oysters, and currently bay scallops, adult oysters are pretty resilient to acidification, but baby oysters basically have to fight the water for minerals to grow their shells. They use up their energy reserves and die of starvation trying. And mesa research shows lowering the PH affects the physiology of a variety of shelled animals. And this is resulting in less energy that's available for them to grow. Shells were smaller, and in some cases, like with surf claims, their insides were stunted. They were also putting on less meat muscle. Can you eat the meat? Translating all of this into economic costs is not straightforward. For example, some shellfish may be able to evolve resistance to acidification. Some hatcheries are trying to breed resistance, and there's a lot of natural variability in acidity from place to place. Jeremy testa is an associate professor at the university of Maryland center for environmental science. The vulnerability to acidification is pretty different across space. Oyster hatcheries in the Chesapeake Bay don't face the same problems as those in Oregon, for example, and hatcheries like whisky creek have managed to treat their water for minimal cost once they figured out the problem, though that took a few years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. But ultimately, the cost of ocean acidification is maybe best understood as simply being one more problem to deal with. On top of a pile of problems created or made worse by humans. Doctor Meredith white is director of research and development at mooc sea farm in Maine. In the last couple of years, we have had other changes to the ecosystem of the water that is pumped into our hatchery that have really affected our seed oyster production. Increased rainfall diluting the coastal water changes in the algae that led to baby oysters being poisoned, wild swings and oxygen.

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