Ocean acidification impacts on shellfish workshop


This workshop was planned to bring together stakeholders from the US west coast who are working to understand and address ocean acidification. The extent of ocean acidification effects is unknown at present, though it could threaten valuable west coast fisheries for oysters, mussels, clams, sea urchins and other shellfish. Along the Pacific coast, evidence of acidified seawater was found in 2007 during a routine oceanic survey conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Hatcheries in Oregon, Washington, and California have separately reported recruitment failure that may be linked to changing pH. Climate change and ocean acidification were identified as serious threats in the West Coast Governor’s Agreement (among California, Oregon, and Washington), and as high priority research needs in the “West Coast Regional Marine Research and Information Needs” report prepared by Oregon Sea Grant, in partnership with other west coast Sea Grant agencies and the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. To date, such studies have largely been conducted independently, and would benefit from increased interstate and intrastate coordination.

More information on current knowledge can be found in the following publications:

  • National Academy of Sciences “Report in Brief”
  • Joint US Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry/European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA) “Frequently asked questions about ocean acidification”
  • EPOCA’s “Special introductory guide for policy advisers and decision makers”


The objectives of this workshop were to:

  • Encourage cooperation between scientists, shellfish growers, fishermen, and environmental managers;
  • Review and determine how to better integrate currently available shellfish recruitment studies (mostly collected by the shellfish industry) and ocean observing system measurements (mostly collected by academia and government);
  • Identify which future studies are needed; and
  • Plan for future cross-disciplinary interaction.


This workshop was held at SCCWRP in Costa Mesa, California July 7-8, 2010.


Fifty participants were invited from the shellfish industry, regulatory agencies, and research institutions. They received presentations on a variety of topics and took part in discussions to address key questions related to the goals of the workshop.

The background, goals, and findings of the workshop are described in the summary brochure and the workshop report:

Ocean Acidification Impacts on Shellfish Workshop: Findings and recommendations. 2010. Integrated Ocean Observing Systems, California Sea Grant, USC Sea Grant, Oregon Sea Grant, Washington Sea Grant, California Ocean Science Trust, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Technical Report 624. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA. ABSTRACT HTTP

Southern California Coastal Water Research Prject, Workshops, Meeting web page and presentations.

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OA-ICC Highlights