Cancun climate summit: Britain’s salmon at risk from ocean acidification

Britain’s famous salmon runs are in danger from ocean acidification caused by climate change, scientists have warned.

The species rely on tiny shellfish when they go out to sea and feed before returning to rivers like the Tay in Scotland or the Test in Hampshire.

However these sea snails are in danger from ocean acidification.

A United Nations report by the University of Plymouth has warned that fish higher up the food chain like salmon may suffer as a result.

Since the industrial revolution oceans have become 30 per cent more acidic as the water absorbs carbon dioxide and the situation is set to get worse as greenhouse gases increase.

The process, known as ‘ocean acidification’ makes it difficult for shellfish to build their calcium carbonate shells.

Dr Carol Turley, a senior scientist at the UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme at Plymouth University, said studies already show shell fish are struggling to grow.

Louise Gray, The Telegraph, 3 December 2010. Full article.

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