Washington State: Leading the Charge on Ocean Acidification Eric Swenson Communications and Outreach Director Global Ocean Health Program A joint project of the National Fisheries Conservation Center and the Sustainable Fisheries PartnershipInternational Symposium on Aquatic Animal Health and Food Safety Ensenada, México - 19 September 2012
Ocean Acidification Attacks all calcifiers: mollusks, crustaceans, corals, etc. Smaller organisms at the base of the food chain (plankton,krill, pteropods) and early life stages are especially vulnerable.Below: Young clam in 7.5 pH water goes from healthy to dead in 72 hours.
Effects on Finfish and Other Sealife No More Nemo? Missing Links in the Food Chain? An Ocean in Collapse?
The Northwest Oyster Crisis Fifth-generation family business. Largest producer of farmed shellfish in North America. 9,000 acres of oysters, clams, mussels, and geoducks in the state of Washington. Almost 500 employees and more than $50 million in annual revenue.
Devastating Losses 70-80% losses of larvae in oyster hatcheries, 2007-09. Whiskey Creek Hatchery on Netarts Bay, Oregon, which produces 75% of oyster larvae for West Coast growers, wasready to close before acidification was found to be the cause of the die offs.
The Canary Survives Extensive monitoring of water pH Adjusted protocols for time and depth of intake Research and testing of mitigation and adaptation methods, such as buffering2011 production 80% at Whiskey Creek, highest ever at Taylor
WarningIf we dont begin addressing oceanacidification promptly, the future ofshellfish farming and the entire seafoodindustry is at stake. All our efforts atmarine conservation and resourcemanagement will prove inadequate ifwe dont tackle the most basic problemof all—our acidifying marine waters. Bill Dewey Policy & Communications Director Taylor Shellfish Farms
News from the Frontlines June 21, 2012 Oyster grower sounds alarm, starts hatchery in HawaiiA Willapa Bay shellfish company is shifting some of its business to Hawaiibecause of ocean acidification that scientists believe is killing tiny oyster larvaein shellfish farms along Washingtons coast.
Key Element: MonitoringYou can’t dodge what you don’t see
Blue Ribbon Panel- Appointed in February 2012 by Washington Governor Christine Gregoire- Bipartisan group led by Bill Ruckelshaus, first administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, and Jay Manning, environmental lawyer and former head of Washington Department of Ecology- 27 members: top scientists, policy makers, tribal leaders, educators, seafood industry folks, agency heads, conservationists, et al. A real cross section of the power structure, local, state, and federal- October 2012 deadline to recommend action Follow-up group to monitor implementation, assist in funding, promote best practices, campaign for education and action, etc. We aim to make a difference and be a model http://www.ecy.wa.gov/water/marine/oceanacidification.html
Action on Ocean AcidificationA Big Response from a Little StateGovernor Gregoire announcing theWashington Shellfish Initiative andplans for the Blue Ribbon Panel.Shelton, Washington Dec. 9, 2011When asked what a small state likeWashington could do about such ahuge global problem as acidification,Gov. Gregoire had a one-word reply:“Lead.”
Success StoriesTulalip Tribes get cleaner water,reduce carbon emissions, andhelp farmers by turning dairywaste into income (energy and fertilizer)Seaweed and algae sequester carbon andwhen harvested yield biofuel, food, andvaluable chemicalsGround-up bivalve shell helps buffer shellfishbeds and provide a better growing medium
Recommendations for Protecting Mexican ShellfishLearn from the Washington experienceBegin/expand monitoringStart adaptation/mitigation research/trialsReduce land-based acidification sourcesEducate self, colleagues, others in the supplychain, the media, politicians, and the publicabout acidificationPreach and practice success
Final Thoughts Since there are countless ways to go wrong but only a very few ways to do right, our best chance to deal successfully with our contemporary problems and those of the future is to learn from the success stories of our times. -Rene Dubos
Four Personal ReasonsI Work on Ocean Acidification
Please Stay in Contact Eric Swenson Communications and Outreach Director Global Ocean Health ProgramA joint project of the National Fisheries Conservation Center and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership email@example.com 206 334-7333 http://www.sustainablefish.org/global-programs/global-ocean-health