Crabs & climate change pose threat to Maine shellfish (text and video)

One of Maine’s oldest commercial fisheries is in trouble, and the reason appears to be a very aggressive and very hungry predator. (…) Scientists say green crabs aren’t the only threat to Maine shellfish. They also point to a change in the ocean water itself, called ocean acidification. State Rep. Mick Devin, a researcher at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center, says increasing amounts of carbon are going into the ocean as a result of climate change. He says that carbon turns into carbolic acid in the salt water, which then lowers the pH and makes the water more acidic.

Devin says scientists have found higher acid levels will hurt the ability of crabs and other shellfish to form shells, which will threaten their growth. He says that lobsters may also be affected. Devin is leading an effort in the Legislature to form a special task force in Maine to study the potential impacts of ocean acidification, which he says pose a greater long term threat to clams than the green crab. (…)

Don Carrigan, WLBZ2, 24 February 2014. Text and video.

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