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  • Future proofing New Zealand’s shellfish aquaculture: monitoring and adaptation to ocean acidification New Zealand Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Report No. 136. T.L. Capson, J. Guinotte ISSN 1179-6480 (online) ISBN 978-0-478-43763-8 (online) October 2014

  • Requests for further copies should be directed to: Publications Logistics Officer Ministry for Primary Industries PO Box 2526 WELLINGTON 6140 Email: brand@mpi.govt.nz Telephone: 0800 00 83 33 Facsimile: 04-894 0300 This publication is also available on the Ministry for Primary Industries websites at: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-resources/publications.aspx http://fs.fish.govt.nz go to Document library/Research reports © Crown Copyright - Ministry for Primary Industries

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 1 Introduction 3

    1.1 Purpose of workshop 3 1.2 Background 4

    2 Introduction to ocean acidification 5 3 The importance of ΩAr for the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) and mussels (Mytilus species.) 6 4 Ocean acidification in the U.S. Pacific Northwest 7

    4.1 Chemical oceanography 7 4.2 The shellfish industry in the U.S. Pacific Northwest 7 4.3 Impacts of ocean acidification on oyster larvae in the U.S. Pacific Northwest 7 4.4 Industry response in Oregon and Washington 8

    4.4.1 Public relations 8 4.4.2 Increased capacity and relocation to produce more larvae 9

    4.5 Policy to address ocean acidification in Washington State 9 5 Ocean acidification and shellfish hatcheries in the Gulf of Maine 10

    5.1 Causes for concern 10 5.2 Impacts on phytoplankton 10 5.3 Impacts on oyster larvae 10

    6 Impacts of ocean acidification on the Pacific oyster, the hard clam, and the soft-shell clam 11 6.1 Manifestation of ocean acidification impacts in C. gigas 11 6.2 The energetics of shell formation 11 6.3 Impacts of ocean acidification on the hard clam, Mercenaria mercenaria 12 6.4 Using crushed shell to increase survivorship of the soft-shell clam (Mya arenaria) 13

    7 Impacts of ocean acidification and temperature on byssal threads in the Pacific mussel (Mytilus trossulus) 13

    7.1 Byssal thread structure 13 7.2 Byssal attachment strength varies seasonally 13 7.3 Why are mussels weak? 14 7.4 Impacts of high pCO2 on byssal thread tenacity 14 7.5 Impacts of variable temperature on byssal thread tenacity 14 7.6 The combined effects of variable pH and temperature 15 7.7 How can we promote increased tenacity (retention)? 15 7.8 What are the data gaps? 15

    8 Carbonate chemistry measurements 16 8.1 Problems associated with measuring pH 16 8.2 Constraining the carbonate system 16 8.3 An assessment of measurable carbonate parameters 16

  • 8.4 Levels of measurement: effort and costs 17 8.5 Hales’ approach to continuous measurement of TCO2 and pCO2 18 8.6 Take-home messages for determining Ω 18

    9 Ocean acidification in New Zealand 18 9.1 Exisiting, ongoing monitoring programs 18 9.2 Potential sites for coastal acidification monitoring in New Zealand 19 9.3 Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) 20

    10 Shellfish aquaculture in New Zealand 21 10.1 Revenue and production 21 10.2 Harvest of spat for Greenshell mussel and Pacific oyster 21 10.3 Sites of Greenshell mussel and Pacific oyster production 22 10.4 Declines in Greenshell mussel production 23 10.5 Industry questions for science 24 10.6 Learning and adapting 25 10.7 Finfish aquaculture, Chinook salmon and wild fisheries 25

    11 Greenshell mussel (Perna canaliculus) vulnerability to ocean acidification 25 11.1 Potential vulnerabilities P. canaliculus veliger larvae to ocean acidification 26 11.2 The impacts of variable pH on early P. canaliculus veliger larvae 26 11.3 Preliminary conclusions 26 11.4 Looking forward: Priorities for understanding the implications of ocean acidification on P. canaliculus production 27

    12 Ocean acidification impacts on New Zealand abalone, cockle, and flat oyster 28 12.1 Shell carbonate mineralogy varies between organisms 28 12.2 Experiments conducted on juvenile phases of the cockle, abalone, and flat oyster to assess the impacts of variable pH and/or temperature 28 12.3 Conclusions 28 12.4 Future work 29

    13 Ecosystem impacts of Ocean acidification: New Zealand perspectives 29 13.1 Impact of ocean acidification on bacterial degradation of organic matter 29 13.2 Are nitrogen fixers potential “winners” under ocean acidification? 29 13.3 Coastal macroalgae communities under declining pH 30 13.4 Relationship between cold water coral distribution and aragonite saturation horizon (ASH) 30 13.5 Impact of ocean acidification on echinoderm larvae 30

    14 Linking ocean acidification, eutrophication, and land use 30 14.1 How is NEM linked with acidification and eutrophication? 31 14.2 Assessment of NEM in the Hauraki Gulf and Firth of Thames 31 14.3 Long term monitoring program in the Firth of Thames 32 14.4 Conclusions 32 14.5 Next steps 32

  • 15 Projected changes and monitoring of the marine environment: New Zealand policy framework and knowledge transfer 33 16 Conclusions and recommendations 33 17 Key points for industry 34 18 Acknowledgements 35 19 References 36 20 Appendix 1. Workshop programme 39 21 Appendix 2. Workshop participants 41

  • Ministry for Primary Industries Future proofing New Zealand’s shellfish aquaculture  1

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    Capson, T.L.; Guinotte, J., Eds. (2014). Future proofing New Zealand’s shellfish aquaculture: monitoring and adaptation to ocean acidification. New Zealand Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Report No. 136. 42 p. 1. Nearly a third of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) dissolves in the oceans; this has driven a progressive increase in ocean acidity (decline in pH) since the start of the industrial revolution. 2. Increasing levels of CO2 in our oceans affects the formation of calcium carbonate shells and skeletons, potentially influencing growth and, ultimately, threatening an organism’s survival. Molluscs have been shown to be vulnerable, particularly during larval stages. 3. Research conducted by scientists from Oregon State University, in collaboration with the shellfish industry and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, was able to establish a causal link between dramatic declines in production at U.S. Pacific Northwest shellfish hatcheries and increasing ocean acidification during upwelling events from 2007 onwards. 4. The water’s suitability for CaCO3 formation is determined by the saturation state (represented by the Greek letter omega, Ω). As Ω goes down, shell growth becomes increasingly difficult, ultimately threatening an organism’s survival. One form of CaCO3, aragonite, is particularly vulnerable to increasing acidity (declining pH) and represents a key component of mollusc shells, particularly during vulnerable larval stages. 5. Subsequent work has determined that it is the hatchery water’s aragonite saturation state (ΩAr), particularly during the first two days of life, which predominantly influences the fate of oyster larvae and net production. Innovative hardware developed by Burke Hales of OSU, capable of making measurements that allow the calculation of ΩAr in real-time, has been indispensable for routine hatchery management. 6. Pacific Northwest hatcheries operated by Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery and Taylor Shellfish Farms have successfully recovered most of their production by implementing dynamic procedures to avoid seawater with unfavourable ΩAr levels. Avoidance measures include not filling tanks with water for rearing shellfish larvae when ΩAr falls below critical levels. Mitigation includes the chemical treatment of hatchery water to increase ΩAr. 7. Seawater analysed in the on-going Munida Time Series monitoring off the coast of Otago, southern New Zealand, shows that the open ocean waters off New Zealand are acidifying at rates comparable to average global trends. Corresponding lab simulations suggest that some of New Zealand’s key coastal shellfish species may be vulnerable to future predicted levels of ocean acidification. 8. Ocean acidification will impact a range of marine species, food webs, and marine ecosystems. For example, scientists have estimated that by 2100, less than 25% of existing coral locations in New Zealand will be able to sustain coral growth. 9. New Zealand shellfish growers have now engaged with New Zealand researchers and their U.S. counterparts and are actively seeking ways to enhance plans for a coastal ocean acidification monitoring network in New Zealand, as well the potential for continuous assessment of ΩAr in commercial hatcheries.

  • 2  Future proofing New Zealand’s shellfish aquaculture Ministry for Primary Industries

    10. The momentum and good will created by this workshop has provided a platform for on-going communication and collaboration in this exciting new area of science and industry cooperation. 11. Collaborating with scientists, policy makers, and marine farmers from other countries creates opportunities for technology transfer and knowledge exchange, and will be an ongoing component in New Zealand’s attempts to improve the resilience of the shellfish and aquaculture industries to future changes in ocean chemistry.

  • Ministry for Primary Industries Future proofing New Zealand’s shellfish aquaculture  3

    1 INTRODUCTION

    Report from the New Zealand-U.S. workshop, Nelson