Professor Kevin Flynn to give keynote address at conference held at the Royal Society

Professor Kevin Flynn is to give a keynote address at a conference being held at the Royal Society, London on June 4/5, on the subject of “Ocean acidification: what’s it all about?” This is funded by NERC, Defra, DECC and the German BIOACID programme.

Professor Flynn's lecture on 4th June is on “Ocean acidification effects on commercially-important species - and wider impacts”, in his capacity as the PI for the NERC/Defra grant operated out of the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) at Swansea.

Other members of the group were Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Exeter University, and Strathclyde University.

Ocean acidification is caused by the dissolution of CO2 released by human activity into the world’s oceans. This is causing a decrease in the average pH (increase in acidity) of seawater.

The project aimed to:

       Examine ocean acidification (OA) responses of UK commercial fisheries

       Consider finfish (herring, flounder, sea bass) and shellfish (mussels, oysters, scampi)

       Place emphasis on early stages through to juveniles as these are most susceptible to stress

       Combine laboratory and modelling studies, not only of the commercial species themselves, but of organisms supporting their growth

       Place these in the context of UK socio-economics

Summary conclusions from the presentation read:

       Separating impacts of ocean acidification (OA) from other climate change processes is difficult, and they occur together

       OA itself can affect organisms at the base of the food chain (perhaps inc Harmful Algal Blooms), affecting all levels above, to fisheries.

       The juveniles of the  fisheries species themselves appear either directly susceptible to OA, &/or likely indirectly (via food chain interactions) susceptible to OA

       Socio-economic consequences are highly complex, but appear most likely on balance to be negative

       Of greatest concern is potential damage to food security via impacts to wild fisheries and to aquaculture     

The conference link can be found here