December 5, 2012
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Frankenfish financial flop and countering corrosive oceans. More fish news after this –
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Attempts to get genetically modified salmon approved for US dinner plates are having trouble staying afloat. The Associated Press reports that Aquabounty, the east coast company that’s tweaked salmon to grow twice as fast as normal, is on its last legs financially. At issue is the more than two decades it’s taken to get the nod from the Food and Drug Administration. Two years ago the FDA concluded the salmon was safe to eat but it has yet to approve the so called Frankenfish. The agency is still working on an environmental impact report which take years to conclude. Aquabounty has burned through $67 million so far and has put all its investments in the Frankenfish basket. CEO Ron Stotish claims the company only has enough money to survive until January. He blames the stall on “partisan bickering and people who oppose new technology.”
As politicians bicker about causes of climate change, any kid’s chemistry set will show the oceans are becoming more acidic. The State of Washington is tackling the issue head on by becoming a sort of aquatic laboratory. Corrosive waters cut shellfish production by 80% a few years ago at Taylor Shellfish Farms, the nation’s largest producer. Spokesman Bill Dewey –
Cut: The oysters are still growing a shell; it’s just that it is dissolving from the outside faster than they can grow it. So eventually they lose that race and they die.
More than $3 million has been set aside by Gov. Christine Gregoire to jump start a program to learn how much acidity is being produced by whom, reducing carbon pollution from landbased sources, planting sea grasses and an education campaign about increasing acidity. The state hopes to provide valuable lessons for other parts of the world.
And TheFishSite.com reports scientists in Australia believe that growth rings in fish ear bones can offer clues to the likely impacts of climate changes. The bones are widely used to support stock assessments, and are now being used to measure and predict ecological responses to ocean warming, acidification and other changes.
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, celebrating 102 years of partnership with Alaska’s coastal communities. www.oceanbeauty.com In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.