May 17 – “Slinging Mud” – The mud in Casco Bay, Maine, is changing. According to an article last fall in the Bangor Daily News, areas that used to contain vast quantities of economically valuable clams are now “dead mud.” Local clammers are finding that sites of former abundance are now completely devoid of shellfish. Even efforts to seed the formerly thriving areas with shellfish larvae are not yielding results. Some scientists think that the increasing acidity of the mud, due partly to the increased carbon dioxide being absorbed from the atmosphere, is making conditions unsuitable for shellfish larvae to form, well, shells. We may not yet be able to quantify the damage ocean acidification will cause in New England waters – although researchers are trying. But we don’t want to sit on our hands and wait to see how bad it will get.
- May 18 – “Fish Talk in the News – Friday, May 18” – This week’s interesting fishing and seafood-related stories: the ethics of seafood; NOAA’s annual status of the stocks report; making sure funding for ocean programs stays in the federal budget; CLF’s Peter Shelley talking about seafood on WGBH; and what local seafood to keep and eye out for at the market this summer.