The fact that aquatic ecosystems worldwide stand to sooner or later be affected by a phenomena known as ocean acidification is something we already spoke about on various occasions.Back then, we explained that the concept of ocean acidification basically refers to the fact that, due to absorbing significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, marine environments tend to become ever more acidic.
However, one thing was left unsaid: should the chemical makeup of our seas and oceans undergo major transformations, this will also impact on the global food industry, given the fact that the fish grown and caught in commercial fisheries is subject to these changes much like all other marine creatures are.
Hoping to somewhat tackle this problem, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, for short) has just announced that it is planning to provide three educational and research institutions with sufficient funding to make it possible for the scientists working with them to assess how exactly ocean acidification will affect fisheries.
Based on the data provided by scientists once these studies are completed, NOAA expects that those in charge of managing commercial fisheries will be in the know as far as implementing appropriate conservation measures is concerned.
As Jonathan Hare from NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center puts it, “Efforts to estimate the effect of ocean acidification on fishery populations will be valuable to our own work.”
Furthermore, “The goal is to incorporate the effects of ocean acidification into advice provided to the regional fishery management councils.”
The institutions that are to benefit from these grants are as follows: the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution ($682,000 / €522,701), the State University of New York at Stony Brook ($533,000 / €408,504) and the University of Washington ($374,000 / €286,643).
Taken together, the studies carried out by researchers working with these institutions will provide information concerning both the environmental, and the financial effects of ocean acidification.