New Federal Report Points to Major Potential Losses in Key Fisheries Due to Ocean Acidification

Ocean acidification threatens to cause billions of dollars in damage to the U.S. economy, harming everything from crabs in Alaska to coral reefs in Florida and the Caribbean, NOAA researchers said in a new report.

Carbon dioxide emissions and ocean acidification are occurring at an “unprecedented” rate, deteriorating valuable fisheries and tourist destinations across the United States and its territories, NOAA said in a draft research plan for ocean acidification.

“Commercial, subsistence and recreational fishing [and] tourism and coral ecosystems” will likely be damaged by ocean acidification, the plan said. Multibillion-dollar fisheries such as West Coast Dungeness crab, Alaska king crab and New England sea scallops are vulnerable. So are Florida’s coral reefs, an asset valued at $8.5 billion.

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