One of the key factors in establishing PDXSeafood, our sustainable seafood program, is the declining status of the worlds overfished oceans. I recently came across an article that was informative and worth a read. Click on the link below to access the article.
Antarctic crabeater seals, which feed on krill. Photo courtesy of www.NewScientist.com
The Environmental News Network recently reported the findings from a comprehensive study of the complex food networks of the Southern Ocean. The result? Food webs in this highly productive ocean area are being impacted by climate change and greenhouse gasses.
One of their specific findings was that big areas in the Southern Ocean are absorbing large amounts of CO2, which in turn makes waters more acidic. This increased acidity “makes it more difficult for animals that create their own shells and some algae to gather carbonate ions from the seawater”, making it harder for them to survive. Such primary producers and invertebrates are key components of many food webs, and therefore as they decline so too may the larger invertebrates, fish, and even marine mammals that rely on them.
You can read more in the full Environmental News Network article, here.
In our efforts to continue conserving endangered marine species and the habitats upon which they rely, PDXWildlife plans to conduct research and outreach projects addressing how human consumption of fragile fish stocks affects the stability and productivity of marine food webs and ecosystems. Keep checking back with us for more information!
PDX Wildlife is very fortunate to have such a dedicated team of researchers who travel all overthe world. One such researcher, Isaac Sleadd, recently returned from Antarctica with a treasure trove of biological samples. Although Isaac studies antifreeze proteins, he also collaborates with fellow researchers on several other projects including mercury in Antarctic fish.
Mercury in Antarctica? This is a common question that we hear when talking about pollutantsin the polar south. Antarctica is widely thought to be untouched by contaminants and people, given its extreme environment and location. This misconception is partially the reason behind studying mercury in fish. We want to learn more about our environment and how it reacts to environmental contaminants that can travel such long distances.
In order to learn how much mercury is in these fish, we also need a lab who is capable and willing to run our samples. Deke Gundersen of Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR, has analyzed multiple biota for contaminants such as mercury, DDT, & PCB’s. We are lucky to be able to have Deke and his colleagues donate their time to analyze our samples. We look forward to the results of this study. Stay tuned for more over the next few months.