Scallopalypse: Massive Shellfish Die-Off Marks Next Tipping Point of Ocean Acidification

The End Times Are A Slo Mo Disaster Unfolding In Unanticipated Ways
10 million dead scallopsAnother Seafood Provider Looks At A Bleak Future As Acid Waters Begin Killing Off Another Marine Species


The decade long marine species die-off that has invaded the US and Canadian Pacific Coast has expanded to include scallops, a shellfish. The most recent disaster is a mass die off of about 10 million scallops in British Columbia, causing Island Scallops to shut down it’s processing plant.

The cause is widely acknowledged to be steadily rising levels of ocean acidity caused by carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. pH levels in the area have reached as low as 7.2. Normal levels are 8.2. As is the case with oysters, higher acidity prevents young scallops from forming proper shells, which makes them vulnerable to predators. Area hatcheries began noticing the problem in 2009.

Although the Pacific Northwest is in a global hot spot as far as acidification rates goes, there is every reason to believe this is another harbinger of the future*.


*See our previous posts on starfish wasting disease and the oyster die off.

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