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The original item was published from 4/13/2012 11:45:28 AM to 4/21/2012 12:05:00 AM.

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Posted on: April 13, 2012

[ARCHIVED] Slightly higher CO2 ocean levels blamed for Oyster decline

April 11, Associated Press – (Oregon; National) Study blames ocean CO2 for oyster declines.
Scientists are blaming slightly higher levels of carbon dioxide in Pacific Ocean waters linked to global warming for the failure of oyster larvae to survive in an Oregon hatchery, the Associated Press reported April 11. They say higher acidity of the water that comes with more carbon dioxide makes it harder for young oysters to form shells, dooming them in days, even if they are moved to more favorable environments. “A lot of studies talk about the year 2050 when ocean acidification becomes a problem,” for sea life, said the lead author who is production manager at the Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery on Netarts Bay. “It showed up five years ago for us,” and almost put the hatchery out of business. The study appeared April 10 in the online edition of the journal Limnology and Oceanography. “The predicted rise of atmospheric CO2 in the next two to three decades may push oyster larval growth past the break-even point in terms of production,” a study co-author said in a statement. Hatcheries and oyster farms relying on natural reproduction started having trouble with larvae survival in 2005. At Whiskey Creek, which raises larvae from Pacific and kumamoto oysters that originally come from Japan, they began noticing a correlation between times when ocean upwelling was strong and larvae die-offs.

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