(This is an opinion/general information article that would hypothetically be published in a journal for those involved in the commercial fresh seafood industry, such as the online version of the Seafood Business Journal. The specific audience is business owners, such as restaurateurs who buy fresh ocean seafood, who would be effected by adverse changes in the oceans that would effect their ability to buy what food they needed for business.)
With the current drop in lobster prices, the recent occurrence of the lobster shell disease, and the 2012 Asian shrimp early death syndrome , it is apparent that there is a lot at stake for Atlantic restaurateurs when choosing which seafood to buy. Who, what, where, and when have been important questions that should and have been running through the minds of all involved the seafood industry.
However, there is one question that needs refocus: “why”. For those business owners like us who are invested in the commercial seafood, it is important to ask why things such as the oscillation in seafood prices, lobster shell disease and the 2012 shrimp incident have occurred. The past of often the key to possible patterns in the future, especially our financial future and the health of the oceans. So what is the correlation between there recent events in the world seafood industry and the past? Simply put, semi- natural and semi- human forces that have caused heating of the oceans, the enhancement of salinity states in oceans and the acidification of the oceans. While to some more connected to the environmental conservation scene, this may seem like a given. However, it is important that more of us, as large players in the seafood industry, understand how these ocean phenomenon affect and will continue to affect us in the future.
The first question to ask is: What are the natural and human forces behind ocean warming and acidification and how are they measured? During the past couple of so decades there as been an increased dedication in environmental science towards the study of climate change, specifically global warming, and what those changes could mean for humans. A large part of this dedication has culminated in the creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Established by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization in 1988, the IPCC strives to create the most accurate and scientifically researched information on the current knowledge of climate change and the potential effects that this climate change would have on humans and the world. In order to do this, the IPPC (which includes a world-wide network of scientists) assess and evaluates the current research on climate change and synthesizes that information into a series of reports that are broken into sections (produced by Working Groups) and published every five years.
This year the IPPC is producing its most current report and this past June the IPPC Working Group I was able to send...