ISER's Toby Schwoerer presenting on Ocean Acidification

by Michelle Saport  |   

Ocean acidification is expected to impact Alaska's marine species and the $5.8 billion seafood industry. Higher acidity water affects the ability of shell-building organisms, like crabs, to develop and maintain their shells and may also affect the behavior of some fish species. Alaska is predisposed to ocean acidification due to its colder water temperature, making it likely that we will feel the effects sooner and more intensely than other regions. Ocean acidification is caused when carbon dioxide gas from the atmosphere dissolves in the ocean, lowering the water's pH and making it more acidic. As humans emit more carbon dioxide, this process accelerates.

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, Toby Schwoerer from ISER, Bob Foy, NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center Director, and Darcy Dugan, Alaska Ocean Acidification Network Director will be presenting to the Board of Fish during the day and hosting a special session at 5:30 p.m. that is open to the public. The focus of the presentation will be about current and forecasted conditions and how species may respond to these changing conditions including a special focus on salmon. The event is taking place at the Egan Center, 555 W. 5th Ave, in downtown Anchorage.

The Alaska Ocean Acidification Network was developed in 2016 to expand the understanding of OA processes and consequences in Alaska, as well as potential adaptation and mitigation actions. The network helps connect scientists and stakeholder communities to identify knowledge gaps, recommend regional priorities, share data, and determine best practices for monitoring in Alaska.

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