MBL scientist Loretta Roberson is collaborating with Scott Lindell of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Cottage City Oysters to test different seaweeds as buffers for hatcheries against acidification.
By Doreen Leggett
CHATHAM –Although it was years ago, Dan Martino well remembers how hatcheries in the Pacific Northwest watched their shellfish seed die, ravaged by ocean acidification.
“The shellfish basically dissolved in front of their eyes,” Martino says. “The ocean water had grown too acidic.”
When Dan and his brother Greg got their oyster grant on Martha’s Vineyard in 2014, and became the first oyster farm in Oak Bluffs history, that memory became even more sinister.
The hatcheries in Washington State, which were using seawater to grow, changed their model and began buffering the water, adding something similar to lime, to bring up the pH.
The Martinos, who own Cottage City Oysters, figure it is only a matter of time before the same phenomenon hits the East Coast. They are trying to get in front of a problem that could crush an increasingly important industry to the economy of the Cape and Islands. Read more …
Kelp photo by Claire Fackler, CINMS, NOAA