The Alaska Fisheries Science Center website is now part of the NOAA Fisheries website.
Some information may not be up to date. Join us at our new location,
Please contact with any questions.

link to AFSC home page
Mobile users can use the Site Map to access the principal pages

link to AFSC home page link to NMFS home page link to NOAA home page

HEPR: Ocean Acidification

Research Areas:
Loss of Sea Ice
Essential Fish Habitat
Ocean Acidification
Bering Sea Project
Core Team Members

THE NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN is a sentinel region for signs of ocean acid­ification. Approximately 30%-50% of global anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are absorbed by the world’s oceans. Dissolving CO2 increases the hydrogen ion (H+) concentration in the ocean, and thus reduces ocean pH. Corrosive waters reach shallower depths more so there than in other ocean basins, especially in Alaska, and so biological impacts will likely occur earlier than in many other places. Ocean acidification reduces the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) saturation point, which may stress calcifying organisms by making calcification more difficult.

lab sceneThe Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) research focuses on commercially important fish and shellfish species and coldwater corals . Ocean acidification will likely impact the ability of marine calcifiers, such as corals and shellfish, to make shells and skeletons from CaCO3. Species-specific studies of shell­fish and fish are conducted to understand physiological effects (growth and survival). The CaCO3 content of calcareous organisms is not well known and a survey of corals is being conducted to assess species vulnerabilities to ocean acidification. Bioeconomic models of Alaskan crab fisheries are being used to forecast fishery performance for a range of climate and ocean acidification scenarios.

The Alaska Fisheries Science Center conducts studies on king and tanner crabs, coldwater corals, pollock, cod and northern rock sole. These experiments are conducted in Kodiak, Alaska, and Newport, Oregon, where species-specific culture facilities and experience are available. The Alaska Fisheries Science Center collaborates with the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, which monitors ocean conditions.

Research Area Contact
King and Tanner crabs Foy (
Crab abundance forecasts Dalton (
Cod, pollock and northern rock sole Hurst (
Corals Stone (
Monitoring Cross (

Related Reports and Activities

NOAA Fisheries/Alaska Fisheries Science Center is a member of the Alaska Ocean Acidification Network. For more information on ongoing research please visit the Alaska Ocean Acidification Network website.



            | Home | Site Map | Contact Us | FOIA | Privacy | Disclaimer | | Accessibility | Print |           doc logo