Ocean acidification could affect fisheries

A free workshop on the topic of ocean acidification and its effect on seafood is scheduled for Tuesday, December 6th, 6p.m. to 8 p.m. in Portland, Maine at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.

The Ocean Acidification Workshop for Gulf of Maine Seafood Producers is being hosted by Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, in partnership with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership.

The goal of the workshops is to inform commercial fishermen and other seafood producers about ocean acidification.

“Ocean acidification is not something that we can ignore,” SFP outreach coordinator Amy Grondin wrote in an e-mail. “We need to consider it now and engage seafood producers, researchers and policy makers in finding solutions. Globally, the seafood industry has been a minor contributor to the causes of ocean acidification – we burn fossil fuels to catch fish – but we will be the first to see the implications of the lowering pH of our oceans.”

The San Francisco, Calif.-based Sustainable Fisheries Partnership is a nonprofit that educates seafood buyers and suppliers about methods to help improve fisheries and fish-farming, choose sources wisely, and meet sustainability commitments. Grondin said that she grew up in Maine and is now a commercial salmon fisherman, with her husband, in Alaska.

“When not fishing, I work in commercial fisheries outreach to other fishermen and their coastal communities in an effort to keep both fish and fishermen thriving into the future,” she said.

A featured speaker at the workshop will be Dr. Mark Green, a professor of environmental science at Saint Joseph’s College. Green will discuss his research on ocean acidification in the Gulf of Maine, and will describe the effects ocean acidification has already had on the gulf’s ecosystem and the changes it could bring in the future.

Grondin said ocean acidification, as a result of human activities, affects basic ocean chemistry.

“This is so much more than a commercial fishing issue,” wrote Grondin. “But global solutions need to start at home. SFP has been working with commercial fishermen and folks in the shellfish industry all over the country to build awareness of ocean acidification. There has been concern expressed from all, a response of ‘what can we do to reverse the situation’ from some and skepticism from others. Even the folks who have expressed doubts have agreed that we need more research and monitoring to figure out if there is real cause for concern, their thought being that to deny what you don’t know is not in the interest of keeping fishing.”

The workshop, she said, is designed to be an opportunity for those on the working waterfront, who observe the ocean daily, to develop new relationships with researchers who study the ocean. The session is designed to avoid political “lobbying or special interests,” she said.

“There is no agenda for the workshops other than informing fishermen and shellfish harvesters on ocean acidification and connecting them with local researchers who might shed some light on this complex topic,” she said.

For more information, contact Grondin, 206-295-4931, or ajgrondin@gmail.com.av

Laurie Schreiber, Bar Harbor Times Soup, 26 November 2010. Article.

1 Response to “Ocean acidification could affect fisheries”

  1. 1 Amy Grondin 30 November 2010 at 17:29

    Please update the Blog post as the December 6th Ocean Acidification workshop will be held in Portland, Maine at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute from 6pm to 8pm.

    Thank you!

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