Predicted impacts of ocean acidification on fisheries on the U.S. west coast

Ocean acidification is the a suite of chemical reactions in the ocean caused by climate change that include higher levels of carbon dioxide and lower pH levels, caused by human emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A new model now projects the impacts of ocean acidification from California to Washington, finding that species declined most in the southern regions, but economic impacts were highest in the northern regions. The greatest economic impacts were due to declines in Dungeness crab due to declines in prey species affected by ocean acidification. Given the high fishing revenues based on Dungeness crab, a high priority should be devoted to tracking pH, crab prey, and crab biomass. The new study by former SAFS PhD student Emma Hodgson, SAFS professor Timothy Essington, and their coauthors, appears in the journal Ecological Modelling.

Economic impacts of ocean acidification by region, with positive impacts (>20%) in blue and negative impacts (< -20%) in yellow-brown.
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