Online Program

4 billion ton alka seltzer tablet vs. the 1lb lobster – potential impacts of ocean acidification on shellfish

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 4:50 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.

Tim Bowden, PhD, Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, ME
The oceans have managed to moderate the impacts of climate change by absorbing a significant portion of the carbon dioxide emissions from human activities. This amounts to approximately one-third of the total emissions from fossil fuels, cement production, and land-use change over the last 200 years. However, this has caused substantial changes to ocean chemistry leading to a decrease in the pH of the water, about 0.1 pH unit since the beginning of the industrial age and other changes that encompass ocean acidification. This change in water chemistry will impact calcifying organisms that use calcium carbonate in their shells and skeletons, such as corals, commercially important mollusks such as oysters, clams and mussels and many planktonic species. This presentation will discuss the impacts of ocean acidification on the physiology of commercially important shellfish species such as lobsters, oysters and clams, and the consequences for those industries that rely on these animals whether through wild harvest or commercial cultivation.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the processes whereby ocean acidification impacts calcifying organisms. Explain how climate change/ocean acidification will impact shellfish industries, especially in New England. Explain possible solutions to ameliorate the changes currently taking place in ocean chemistry to reduce the impact on commercial shellfish operations.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 20 years research experience on the health of commercially important aquatic animals, especially how the environment can affect an animals health status and how environmental perturbations can reduce the ability of an animal to successfully protect against pathogens
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.