Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Vulnerability and adaptation of Pacific Northwest shellfisheries to ocean acidification Public Deposited

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  • The purpose of this study was to understand the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of shellfish stakeholders in the Pacific Northwest who are adapting to ocean acidification (OA). This study developed a geovisualization tool of existing environmental data for assessing species-specific risk profiles to OA (based on their exposure and sensitivity), and then created a decision tree of adaptation options reported by interviews conducted with shellfish stakeholders for identifying pathways to successful adaptation (based on their adaptive capacity and the barriers to their adaptation). Results from the geovisualization showed that OA risk is greatest in the northern Pacific Northwest, where a faster rate of change in OA exposure intersects with relatively greater social reliance on shellfish. Interviews showed that OA has led to substantial shortages of seed. Despite adaptation investments at hatcheries succeeding to improve overall seed production, industry consolidation has constrained access to seed for the smallest stakeholders. Adaptation investments prioritized in at-risk areas should account for uneven impacts and specific barriers that affect stakeholders engaged in shellfish production at multiple life stages. To facilitate discussions with stakeholders in local adaptation planning efforts, future work may benefit from pairing an adaptation pathway decision tree and the geovisualization tool developed here.
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  • This work was funded by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Ocean Acidification Program.
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