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NW Fishletter #386, Oct. 2, 2018

[14] Oregon Group Releases First Report on Ocean Acidification

The group working to create an action plan for the Oregon Legislature on ocean acidification and hypoxia released its first biennual report since being formed last year.

On Sept. 15, the Oregon Coordinating Council on Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia came out with 38 recommendations, ranging from monitoring the ocean and supporting new initiatives for resilience in the ecosystem to keeping lawmakers informed and developing guidance for state agencies on how to prioritize addressing or preventing these ocean conditions.

The report says that new research is finding a growing list of marine organisms vulnerable to ocean acidification or to hypoxia, including salmon.

According to the group, the Oregon coast experienced firsthand the devastating impacts of ocean acidification in 2007, when the Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery lost 75 percent of the larvae it needs to produce oysters.

State researchers and the oyster industry worked together to determine that the cause was a summer upwelling of deep, acidified ocean waters that changed the pH of the water at the oyster beds and made it more acidic.

In addition, the coast has seen several hypoxia events, caused by low oxygen levels in the water, which can lead to a die-off of crabs and other marine life.

Last year, the Legislature passed SB 1039, creating the council with co-chairs from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon State University. Over the next year, the group will work with lawmakers, the governor and the public to develop an action plan, to be finalized next year. -K.C. Mehaffey

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NW Fishletter is produced by NewsData LLC.
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief: Mark Ohrenschall, Editor: K.C. Mehaffey
Phone: (206) 285-4848 Fax: (206) 281-8035

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