Friday, April 13, 2012
Oregon State University researchers discovered that rising levels of carbon dioxide are killing off oyster larvae.
"The predicted rise of atmospheric CO2 in the next two to three decades may push oyster larval growth past the break-even point in terms of production," said Burke Hales, an OSU chemical oceanographer.
Commercial oyster production on the West Coast generates more than $100 million in gross sales annually, said Mark Floyd, OSU spokesman. Since the 1970s, the industry has depended on hatcheries for the supply of seed, but like Whiskey Creek, many of those growers also have suffered dramatic losses.
"I don't want to sound like Chicken Little, but clearly there's been an economic impact," [OSU assistant professor of ocean ecology and biogeochemistry George] Waldbusser said. "It's clear every animal in the ocean is not going to die, but it's important to acknowledge that this is a real impact. It's something to be serious about."
Read more at OregonLive.com.
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