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|Articles - October 2010|
|Tuesday, September 28, 2010|
A statewide research group is developing a way to forecast harmful algae blooms to help mitigate the negative economic impact that beach closures have on Oregon’s coastal communities.
MOCHA (Monitoring Oregon’s Coastal Harmful Algae) is comprised of university and government agency researchers who have been studying the blooms since 2007. The blooms happen when marine algae populations explode and produce toxins that infect shellfish. The blooms then force communities to close their beaches to shellfish harvesting. Razor clams are especially monitored because even weeks after feeding they can retain the toxins, which can cause paralysis and in some cases death in humans.
A yearlong closure to razor clamming in 2003 cost Clatsop County businesses $4.8 million in revenue. “The peak season is around April to June,” says MOCHA team member Matt Hunter of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Avid bivalve hunters make hotel reservations months in advance for that time period and then abruptly cancel when a closure is announced. This keeps the lodging industry from being able to fill those rooms on short notices. By getting an early bloom alert, and thus a possible beach closure, lodging businesses would have time to fill those cancellations.
Blooms also have negative repercussions for commercial razor clam distributors. It takes about a week to determine whether clams are tainted, says Alex Manderson of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. “The harvester gets paid regardless,” says Hunter. “If the clams turn out to be bad, you have to use them for bait or just discard them.” According to Jon Hartill, co-owner of seafood store Bell Buoy of Seaside, the 2003 closure cost him upward of $60,000 because he had already paid harvesters for the clams and they could not be sold to consumers. Earlier notice of a bloom would have helped prevent this.
“The incidence of [blooms] has increased worldwide. We’re the first monitoring program to determine the frequency along the Oregon coast,” says MOCHA team member Angel White of Oregon State University. The application of MOCHA’s forecasting model currently is limited. “It’s like a weather forecast: We can tell what it’s going to be like today. We want to be able to do monthly forecasts,” Hunter says.
“We’re in data-crunching mode,” White says.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY OREGON BUSINESS STAFF
An SEC rule targets the disparity between executive and employee compensation, reigniting a long-standing debate about corporate social responsibility.
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
A conversation with Oregon state economist Josh Lehner.
Monday, January 26, 2015
The day after this issue goes to press, the city of Medford will host its annual business conference. The event features Minoli Ratnatunga, co-author of the Milken Institute’s annual “Best-Performing Cities” report. Preliminary data suggests that Medford is likely to retain its No. 1 ranking among best-performing small cities for having a higher concentration of high-tech firms than the national average.
Wednesday, January 07, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The Oregon Business Plan Leadership Summit drew more than 1,000 people to the Oregon Convention Center yesterday.
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
A conversation with attorney Erich Merrill about the latest way to raise money from large groups of people.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
Robin Anderson, dean of the Pamplin School of Business, University of Portland: "You need people who are comfortable leading in ambiguity."
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Power Lunch at the Imperial.
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