Taylor Shellfish optimistic about Willapa Bay operations despite changing ocean conditions

The president of Taylor Shellfish says the industry remains strong in Willapa Bay despite changing ocean conditions and other challenges. (…)

Ocean acidification

The industry has had its challenges, Taylor said. Part of the seed supply comes from natural oyster sets. “For a number of years we had low reproduction of oysters in the bay,” Taylor said. “It’s been spotty the last couple of years.” Seed production in the bay has been problematic for the past five or six years, he said. Ocean acidification has made hatchery seed production a little hit and miss over that same period as well, he added.

“The Oyster seed side of the business, at least for us, hasn’t been as consistent as we would like to have, but we do have oysters on the bay and we’re busy harvesting,” he said. “Growing conditions, if you do have the seed, seem to have been really good.”

There’s still debate over the effects of ocean acidification in Willapa Bay.

“I don’t know if they’ve drawn a correlation in the bay itself,” he said. “We’re suspicious that there’s some correlation between the ocean acidification and what we’re seeing at the hatcheries. We suspect there’s an issue in reseeding in the bay there. There’s a lot of different factors when you get into a natural system like that.”

Taylor operates seed hatcheries in Quilcene, Humboldt Bay, Calif., and Hawaii. (…)

Mike Williams, Daily Astorian, 7 January 2015. Article.


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