Authors

Noelle M. Lucey

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 2010

Abstract

Mollusc harvests have considerable economic and nutritional benefits globally. However, the ability of many mollusc species to reproduce, grow and survive is threatened by ocean acidification. The biological and chemical factors are complex in this determination; data indicates changing acidity levels are positively linked to reduced mollusc viability. As research progresses in the chemical and biological sectors of this occurrence, it must be coupled with socio-economic research to fully understand and respond to potential changes in a responsible and timely manner. This study assesses nations’ vulnerability to acidification events by combining chemical, biological, and socioeconomic data to make up a comprehensive dataset. Outcomes are projected out to 2050. The relative importance of mollusc fisheries to national economies and diets, as well as social capacity to adapt to potential impacts and opportunities is discussed. Specific and general recommendations are made for countries found to be highly susceptible to changes in production with the goal of directing focused attention to the needs of those most dependent on mollusc harvests. The uncertainty associated with future acidification changes must not be a deterrent for prioritizing these recommendations, which are aimed at reducing harmful effects while utilizing positive effects, as well as securing food stability and the livelihoods associated with mollusc production.

Comments

Department: MAF

Location: Not Specified

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