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Category — Ocean Acidification

Researchers study shellfish success

Alex Kirby

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Scottish mussel beds: The European research will be globally relevant. Image: Copyright and courtesy of SAMS

The British Antarctic Survey is leading a research programme aimed at helping the European fishing industry and monitoring the effects of climate change on several shellfish species.

If you like the occasional plate of grilled scallops or fancy an oyster now and then, read on and ponder. The health of several species of European shellfish is under threat.

The bad news is that the shellfish face an uncertain future as the oceans become warmer and more acidicbecause of the changing climate. But there is some better news too: the European Union is funding an international research team to work out how these changes will affect several species vital to the European fishing economy and to marine biodiversity.

Scientists do not fully understand how shellfish like oysters, mussels, scallops and clams produce their shells, or how a change in environment will affect their populations. To address this the EU is funding a €3.6 million (£3 m) programme called CACHE (Calcium in a Changing Environment). Shellfish are an important part of the European marine economy which provides an estimated 5.4 million jobs. [Read more →]

December 24, 2013   No Comments