This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Getting the jump on acid oceans in Alaska. More on a workshop next week after this —
Know what the second leading cause of death is among commercial fisherman? Falling overboard. Know what would have saved many of them? Personal Flotation Devices. Today’s PFDs are built to be comfortable, stay out of your way and keep you from drowning. Find the right PFD for you at www.livetobesalty.org
Interested in being an unofficial seafood ambassador? Sign on to the ASMI data base at www.fishermen.alaskaseafood.org
Think what you want about climate change – any child’s chemistry set will show the oceans are getting more acidic. Next week a who’s who of experts will hone in on Alaska – what’s known today about ocean acidification and a look towards the future.
And we really want to look at the state of monitoring, the state of research on biological impacts and the state of education and outreach, and what steps we need to take in the near and long term.
Molly McCammon is director of the Alaska Ocean Observing System, host of the workshop. Ocean acidification is caused mainly by carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, which change seawater chemistry in a way that makes it tough for many marine organisms to form shells.
Alaskans are used to lots of variability in fisheries – but you talk about OA and it terrifies people because it is such a big unknown as to what kinds of impacts it is going to have. A secret threat – learning more about it and how it affects things like food source for pinks, to crab fishery and shellfish farms.
Three years ago the state provided $2.7 million in funding over three years to help start a monitoring program in Alaska and established the OA center at UAF. The money was used to fund and deploy instruments at four moorings in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea, and at the Alutiiq Pride Hatchery at Seward. Experts also did vulnerability assessments on impacts to coastal communities.
Those communities that are really dependent on commercial fisheries are really vulnerable to potentially to OA and its impacts that the communities that have a more diversified economy. 8:30/5
State funding is set to expire next June and national funding has been stalemated at about $6 million a year, McCammon says, with most being spent in other regions of the country.
We’re looking at how do we keep state program going, where are the gaps in the program, how can we get additional funding and partners, and how do we keep this issue at the forefront of the public and legislator’s mind.
The Ocean Acidification in Alaska workshop is set for Dec. 2 and 3 at the Anchorage Marriott.
Satellite listening stations will be available around the state.
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.