AUGUSTA, Maine — A commission made up of fishermen, aquaculturists, scientists and legislators have completed their study of the problems posed to Maine by the increasing acidification of the ocean and its ecosystems and shellfisheries.
Ocean acidity levels have increased by 30 percent over the past two centuries.
"Fishing, which I believe is the fourth biggest industry in the state of Maine, 87 percent of what is landed are considered shellfish, which we know are at risk to ocean acidification," says State Rep. Mick Devin, a Democrat from Newcastle who is both a scientist and co-chaired the commission.
The panel wants to establish monitoring systems to warn fisheries when acid levels spike. And they are recommending an ongoing commission that will continue to work to find ways to reduce the chemical runoff and carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to the acidification.
"The commission has realized that there needs to be an ongoing entity that which can oversee, and study and get a handle on ocean acidification," Devin says.