Ocean Acidification Commission Creates Council

BOSTON – The Ocean Acidification Commission recently hosted its final public hearing to discuss falling pH levels and rising temperatures in the state’s surrounding waters, and the risk it presents to the states shell fishing industries.

The changing pH levels are particularly dangerous for shell fishing industry. When pH levels drop shellfish, such as oysters, and lobsters are unable to form strong shells.

As a result, fewer organisms make it past the larvae stage and those who do make it to adulthood are much more susceptible to predation.

“As carbonite ions become less accessible as pH drops, the shells of oysters will become smaller and weaker,” said Science Policy Fellow in the Massachusetts House of Representatives Slater Sharp

“One measure here suggests that southeastern Massachusetts is in the top 1/5th of all coastal populations in the United States in terms of risk due to ocean acidification,“ said Slater  

The estimation of risk is based on the percentage of total fisheries revenue derived from mollusks and the amount of shell fishing licenses.

The Ocean Acidification Commission successfully voted to create an Ocean Acidification Council.

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