Ocean acidification effects on the oceanic ecosystem around Dutch Harbor

In the waters we rely on for sea food: such as King Crab (Lithodidae), Pollock (Pollachius), and pteropods (Limacina), there are many things seeking to harm, or kill these animals. What if I told you there was a silent killer on the loose, that’s getting away with doing just that. This killer’s name is carbon dioxide, also known as CO2. Carbon dioxide is slipping into the water, and lowering the pH levels. Animals that rely on the pH levels in the ocean are not able to properly form their shells. This is their protection from predators, as well as chemicals. If these animals don’t have their shells it will make it harder for them to survive in their natural habitat. In the near future the CO2 levels are expected to rise, and if this happens the crab will be affected greatly, and our fisheries and ports will become an up-and-coming past-time. This will result in many fishermen losing their jobs, and sea food industry will crash. It’s apparent that we need to implement solutions to this problem so that we can have healthier bodies of water, and plentiful sea food today and in the future.

Erickson K., Cote R., Gorlova L. & Brown K., 2014. Ocean acidification effects on the oceanic ecosystem around Dutch Harbor. 2014 Alaska Ocean Sciences Bowl Research Project: Ocean Challenges—At Present and in the Future. Paper.


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