May 29, 2014
The global seafood industry is under threat from climate change and ocean acidification, and reducing CO2 emissions is required to safeguard the industy's future, according to a report jointly published Wednesday by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, the University of Cambridge's Institute for Sustainability Leadership and Cambridge's Judge Business School.
The statement, based on findings from the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report, discusses how the ocean's chemistry is changing at an unprecedented rate and how ocean acidification -- the result of carbon dioxide uptake from the air -- is putting many commercial fish and shellfish species at risk.
It states that the "projected rise in acidity by 2100 would be at least twice today's levels." And that acidification "is projected to drive a decline in global shellfish production between 2020 and 2060."
The report also highlights how oxygen-depleted "dead zone" areas, already occurring in the Gulf of Mexico, a re increasing.
The condition, which can inhibit growth in coastal ecosystems, is caused by high levels of nutrient runoff from land (in the Gulf, those nutrients are carried down by the Mississippi River) and then is "exacerbated by higher water temperatures and ocean acidification."