Abstract Title

Session S-06A: Novel Actions to Address Ocean Acidification in the Salish Sea

Presenter/Author Information

Brad Warren, Global Ocean Health

Keywords

Ocean Acidification

Start Date

1-5-2014 1:30 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 3:00 PM

Description

Starting in 2005-2007, heavy larval mortality in shellfish hatcheries and diminished natural recruitment began jeopardizing hatchery-produced seed supplies for West Coast shellfish farms. The region met this crisis with three unusual strengths: (1) a seasoned ocean acidification (OA) research community, (2) an upwelling system that amplifies OA effects (producing unexpectedly early and measurable impacts), and (3) a savvy shellfish industry equipped with technical and policy skills that many fisheries lack. These strengths made the crisis into a rare learning opportunity for the world. Researchers and hatchery managers quickly identified and documented the role of OA and began developing adaptation methods. Solid evidence, clear social and economic consequences, and the emergence of harm-reduction approaches transformed OA from an “obscure geochemical problem” into a recognized threat to jobs, food, and coastal families — and made the issue “actionable” by political leaders. The appearance of a regional “hot spot” in OA also shifted the paradigm for policy response: previously viewed as a “global” problem beyond state authority, OA became a problem that states and regions could start to tackle. Washington launched the first comprehensive state-based OA initiative. In 2012, Gov. Christine Gregoire responded to a proposal championed by shellfish producers and treaty Indian fishing tribes by establishing a blue ribbon panel to develop strategies to mitigate, remediate, and adapt to ocean acidification. Other states and regions have followed suit. This presentation summarizes the genesis and spread of these initiatives, the transfer of lessons from the West Coast “front line” to other regions, and the rise of a new, potent class of actors in addressing OA.

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May 1st, 1:30 PM May 1st, 3:00 PM

The rise of state and regional strategies for ocean acidification

Room 615-616-617

Starting in 2005-2007, heavy larval mortality in shellfish hatcheries and diminished natural recruitment began jeopardizing hatchery-produced seed supplies for West Coast shellfish farms. The region met this crisis with three unusual strengths: (1) a seasoned ocean acidification (OA) research community, (2) an upwelling system that amplifies OA effects (producing unexpectedly early and measurable impacts), and (3) a savvy shellfish industry equipped with technical and policy skills that many fisheries lack. These strengths made the crisis into a rare learning opportunity for the world. Researchers and hatchery managers quickly identified and documented the role of OA and began developing adaptation methods. Solid evidence, clear social and economic consequences, and the emergence of harm-reduction approaches transformed OA from an “obscure geochemical problem” into a recognized threat to jobs, food, and coastal families — and made the issue “actionable” by political leaders. The appearance of a regional “hot spot” in OA also shifted the paradigm for policy response: previously viewed as a “global” problem beyond state authority, OA became a problem that states and regions could start to tackle. Washington launched the first comprehensive state-based OA initiative. In 2012, Gov. Christine Gregoire responded to a proposal championed by shellfish producers and treaty Indian fishing tribes by establishing a blue ribbon panel to develop strategies to mitigate, remediate, and adapt to ocean acidification. Other states and regions have followed suit. This presentation summarizes the genesis and spread of these initiatives, the transfer of lessons from the West Coast “front line” to other regions, and the rise of a new, potent class of actors in addressing OA.