As scientists continue to research ways in which the oceans are changing – and what these changes mean for fish populations, three new research projects will receive funding to examine the effects of ocean acidification on fisheries, and the coastal economies that depend upon them.
Ocean acidification occurs when the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, making it more acidic. Species as diverse as scallops and coral are vulnerable to ocean acidification, which can affect the growth of their shells and skeletons.
The grants, totaling nearly $1.6 million over three years, will go to:
- Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: $682,000 to understand the connection between fluctuations of carbon dioxide levels and ocean scallop populations, harvest and economic conditions;
- The State University of New York at Stony Brook: $533,000 to examine bay scallops and hard clams to determine acidification’s effects on each species and identify the most vulnerable regions of estuaries; and
- The University of Washington: $374,000 to study a large climate model with fish populations and economic models in order to predict ocean conditions and economic effects.