Increased ocean acidification in the coastal zone of upwelling systems threatens abalone shell production and growth of juveniles and adults. Rising ocean temperatures decrease the growth and production of seaweeds that serve as abalone feed, and increased hypoxia has unknown effects on densely-stocked abalone aquaculture systems. Together these climate change effects create an existential crisis for marine shellfish aquaculture.
The research team’s goal is to develop aquaculture techniques and infrastructure that can:
Meet increasing seafood demand
Buffer aquaculture operations from the deleterious effects of climate change
Minimize the environmental impact of seafood production
Economically incentivize the production of sustainable seafood at local, national and global scales
The team intends to build upon previous advancements in land-based Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) systems to create a single-tank system to further enhance abalone and seaweed growth, and reduce the impacts of multiple climate change stressors on shellfish aquaculture operations.