Mass Scallop Deaths Blamed on Acidic Water

28 February 2014, at 12:00am

CANADA - Millions of scallops farmed by Island Scallops have died near Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, due to the increasing acidity of the ocean.

One-third of the workforce at Island Scallops are being laid off because the business has lost more than 10 million scallops before they were able to reach maturity since 2009, reports CBC news.

"It's obviously kicked our feet out from underneath us," said CEO Rob Saunders.

As more atmospheric carbon is absorbed into the ocean, it becomes more acidic. This makes it more difficult for the shellfish to actually form shells, compromising their immune systems.

The company is now launching a research programme with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans to try and determine if acidification is to blame or if other factors are at play.

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