Climate Change Effects: Goodbye Mussels!

  • On August 24, 2016

Climate Change: Goodbye Mussels!

musselsScientists have found that mussels will become inedible within the next 100 years. The reason is the rising sea level temperatures thanks to deadly bacteria which finds a warm enough climate to thrive in shellfish.

It turns out that a change in temperature of just 2 degrees Celsius could make mussels, oysters and other shellfish too poisonous for humans to eat.

It is a fact that global sea level is rising and this is caused by the increasing ocean temperature and by the melting of ice sheets and glaciers. Predictions say global warming will continue and maybe even accelerate. Also sea temperatures will rise significantly in the next century. Rainfall will increase too, which means that the salt concentration of the surface of seas will be lessened. Conditions will favor bacteria that cause disease and plankton that are more toxic.

Researchers from Gothenburg University, Sweden said these changes would dramatically affect the microscopic communities of bacteria and plankton that inhabit the oceans, impacting species higher up the food chain.


Lead investigator Dr Lucy Turner said: “If the changes in the environment put the mussels’ bodies under higher stress levels than usual, and we then challenge them with these micro-organisms, the immune system may become compromised.” Dr Turner warned this could threaten the rapidly-growing tropical shellfish industry, already under pressure from India’s increasingly urbanised population.

She said: “The demand for marine products is growing at an unprecedented rate. “There is also a drive to move from small scale fishing methods to larger scale commercial operations.

Dr. Turner concluded “We know that climate change is causing a change in the timing and duration of the monsoon which can significantly lower the seawater salinity. This is likely to increase the chance of outbreaks of toxic plankton blooms and make farming bivalves such as mussels increasingly challenging.”

 Source: The Telegraph



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