Representative Beth Kerttula: House joint resolution 10: “Ocean acidification research”

“Supporting expanded research concerning the detrimental effects of ocean acidification.”

House Joint Resolution 10 recognizes the threat ocean acidification poses to Alaska’s marine ecosystems, tourism industry and fisheries. The resolution supports research of ocean acidification to understand the effect ocean acidification would have on Alaska’s economy.

Alaska may be particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification because of its unique climate. Ocean salinity can act as a buffer against carbon dioxide absorption; however, Alaska’s cold ocean temperature creates a lower salinity content, and allows more carbon dioxide to be absorbed into the water. When carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean, it has the potential to harm marine ecosystems. Marine organisms, such as plankton and shellfish, and other foods that form the marine food base are at risk of being affected by ocean acidification.  Alaskan marine ecosystems may be more susceptible to the effects of carbon dioxide absorption and more research needs to be done to establish how ocean acidification may affect various sector of Alaska.

Alaskan oceans serve Alaska in many ways. In 2007 Alaska accounted for more than 62 percent, by volume, of the commercial seafood harvested in the United States. The jobs that are created by the seafood industry out-number the number of jobs created by any other industry in the state. Many tourists come to Alaska to see Alaska’s marine wildlife. Tourism is Alaska’s third largest private sector and supplies 26,000 full time jobs. The oceans are also a critical food source for many Alaskans. This resolution would promote research that supports protecting all these activities and industries.

Because of Alaska’s unique situation, ocean acidification could be more severe in Alaska and could pose a larger threat to Alaska’s marine ecosystems, fisheries and tourism industry which all play a large role in Alaska’s economy, and Alaskan’s way of life.

Thank you for your support of House Joint Resolution 10

 

Representative Beth Kerttula, 18 February 2012. Web site.


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