Yahoo News — transcript excerpts, Jan 29, 2015 (emphasis added): BC’s shellfish industry in crisis… Jennifer Palma looks at the die off of scallops and oysters and why it’s a troubling indicator of the health of our oceans. — “Getting pacific oysters and scallops is next to impossible; the industry is in crisis… So what’s killing the Pacific oysters and scallops? A possible combination of factors including warmer oceans, decreasing acidity levels, and potentially disease”… Curtis Suttle, UBC marine microbiology professor: “The hypothesis — there’s a working hypothesis — is that these changes, these excursions in ph, are making the shellfish vulnerable to infection by diseases that they would normally be resistant to.”
Global News (Canada), Jan 29, 2015: Disappearing shellfish on B.C.’s coast confounding experts — What was once a one-year slump has now turned to a systemic crisis. Shellfish are disappearing from B.C.’s coast – and nobody is quite sure why… The problems began in around 2009 and 2010 and have persisted… Island Scallops lost 10 million scallops in 2013… Lobster Man on Granville Island… have been forced to bring in frozen scallops from the east coast… Most believe the main culprit is the increasing acidity of the local waters, making them more vulnerable to diseases… A group of scientists… are waiting to see if they will be selected for a federal grant to see what’s causing the decline. Until then, researchers will continue to speculate.
Dave Ratcliff, manager of The Lobster Man: “Recently there has been no local scallops at all. The supply’s gone.”
Chris Harley, University of British Columbia marine biologist: “It’s still a little bit of a mystery… We’re not living with the same ocean our parents were living with 30 years ago. It could be warmer water, it could be more acidic water, it could be disease… We often care about particular species, but climate change affect the entire ecosystem… There’s all kind of things that are changing at once.”
Global News removed its previous headline ‘Dark days ahead for BC’s shellfish industry‘. It can be seen in the URL (dark-days-ahead-for-bcs-shellfish-industry) and Google search results.
Asian Pacific Post, Jan 27, 2015: BC shellfish industry on knife’s edge — Vancouver Island… once supplied nearly two-fifths of Canada’s farmed shellfish… But something is killing them off. In the last two years, nine-tenths of baby oysters have died in Desolation Sound farms (the normal mortality rate is about 50%). Scallop farmers off Vancouver Island have reported mass die-offs of their hatchlings since 2010. British Columbia’s share of Canada’s aquaculture industry is in a tailspin… Scientists aren’t sure what the culprit is. Environmental stressors are rising, creating a complex interplay of factors…
KCET (Los Angeles), Jan 14, 2015 (at 2:15 in): With changing water chemistry causing young oysters to never develop into adults the aqua farm can’t harvest enough… Spencer Bezaire, chef at L&E Oyster Bar in L.A.: “In the beginning it was very easy to get oysters… it was never a problem. And then coming in for the last few months or so, I’ve had farmers that were flourishing for years, and then all of a sudden they had to shut down for 8 months… They couldn’t supply enough seed to grow the oysters they needed… Because of the diminished supply, we obviously pay more for the product.”
Published: February 8th, 2015 at 12:59 pm ET