Friday, February 6, 2009

Cape Cod without oysters and lobsters?

Cape Cod Online: …Experts at a symposium on climate change testified yesterday to a number of scenarios that could strike Massachusetts as oceans rise and warm, but one stood out.

The ocean is absorbing carbon from the atmosphere, which combines with sea water to form an acid. With the world pumping carbon into the air faster than at any point in history, scientists warned that the ocean is quickly becoming inhospitable to shell-building animals including lobsters, scallops, clams, corals, and even some types of plankton.

That's bad news, not only for New England diners, but also for the region's billion-dollar fishing industry, the second largest fishery in the country in terms of revenues. Shellfish, including clams, oysters, and scallops, as well as lobsters, make up 80 percent of those revenues. New Bedford, for instance, is the top port in the country in terms of the value of the fish and shellfish they harvest. The bulk of their $268 million catch value comes from sea scallops.

Along with the many fishermen who harvest wild shellfish and lobster, the Cape also has the largest aquaculture industry in the state, which had $5.2 million in sales in 2006 and employed approximately 200 full-time and part-time workers….

A Cape Cod beach at sunset, shot by Daniel Schwen, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License

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