Climate Change Effects Could Affect Scallop Production

Chile is one of the largest scallop exporters in the South Pacific but its production, mainly directed to Spain, can be affected by stressors produced by climate change, such as ocean acidification, deoxygenation, water temperature increase and intensification of the upwelling.

Peruvian scallop, Argopecten purpuratus.

Tongoy Bay, Chile 
In the framework of the talks organized by the Doctorate Programme in Biology and Applied Ecology of the Catholic University of the North (UCN), Dr. Laura Ramajo explained that this industry is very sensitive to the environmental changes that occur in Tongoy Bay, and for the South Pacific an increase in the intensification of the upwelling on the coast is predicted, which will bring waters that are much more acidic, lower in oxygen and of low temperature.

“We do not really know what is going to happen with productivity, so we are trying to determine how it responds now to be able to make better predictions in the future in case the environmental conditions of the Pacific change,” said the researcher, who works at the MUSELS Millenium Center, when she presented her research at the Guayacán campus of the UCN.

Dr. Ramajo said that climate change can intensify the winds that favour upwelling in months when this natural phenomenon is not expected. Without going any further, she said that last year there were upwelling events in Tongoy Bay that lasted for months, which meant a high mortality in the production of Peruvian scallop (Argopecten purpuratus) in that area. 

Currently, the professional collaborates with the company Invertec as a result of her postdoctoral research.

“We have had strengthening projects in which we are even training their workers to understand the environmental dynamics of Tongoy Bay, which is why they are really interested in understanding and knowing what will happen to them in order to adapt to any way to these changes,” she said.

She also stressed that they are working with a buoy that makes measurements online, which allows to know when the upwelling comes in order to accelerate or delay the withdrawal of mass production, among other procedures.

This is news from Safimex Joint Stock Company,

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