Ocean Acidification

Since the industrial revolution, emissions from the burning of fossil fuels for energy and transportation has increased the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The world’s oceans naturally absorb carbon dioxide but too much has serious consequences. When carbon dioxide is absorbed, a chemical reaction occurs in the ocean that lowers the pH of sea water and reduces the availability of calcium carbonate for marine organisms to use in making calcified shells and skeletons. Scientists project that, by the end of the century, the ocean environment will be more acidic than it has been in the past 20 million years. Some species will find it harder to build and maintain skeletons and shells, and others may have to expend more energy to grow, develop, and survive. Changes in growth, development, survival, or calcification may have far-reaching consequences for marine food webs, habitats and the seafood industry.

AMCC has shared emerging science on ocean acidification with coastal communities by sponsoring numerous events for leading scientists to present their research. We work with scientists, subsistence harvesters, fishermen, and fishery managers to understand the impacts of ocean acidification, address management challenges, and seek solutions.

AMCC supports:

  • The continuation and expansion of ocean acidification monitoring and research to understand and anticipate the its impacts on Alaska’s fisheries
  • Opportunities for coastal residents to share their local knowledge and participate in monitoring efforts
  • Fishery management solutions that foster ecosystem resilience and apply the precautionary principle to decisions
  • Innovations in fishing vessel energy efficiency that support the seafood industry in addressing its own carbon footprint while improving the bottom line.
  • Dialogue between coastal communities, seafood industry, scientists and policy makers to understand and address the threat of ocean acidification. See our report: Ocean Acidification and Alaska Fisheries

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