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Researchers Discuss Climate Change Impact to Irish Sea Shellfisheries

21 May 2012

IRELAND - SUSFISH researchers from Wales and Ireland recently met at University College Cork to discuss the impacts of climate change to commercial shellfish productivity in the Irish Sea.

Bangor University, Wales, is leading this collaborative project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which brings together experts from Bangor, Aberystwyth and Swansea Universities in Wales and the University College Cork in Ireland.

Over the course of the meeting, researchers discussed current findings on a range of topics including disease status and population genetics of cockles, clams, mussels and crabs; effects of ocean acidification and warming to mussel and crab physiology and health; the potential of emerging disease in shellfish; larval dispersal across the Irish Sea and the socioeconomics of the shellfisheries across the region.

Dr Shelagh Malham of the Centre for Applied Marine Sciences at Bangor University is the project coordinator of SUSFISH and led the meeting over the two day period. She noted: “This project demonstrates the importance of integration across disciplines and borders. Our meeting has further emphasized the value of cross-collaboration when developing management strategies for a shared natural resource such as the Irish Sea."

SUSFISH aims to produce guidelines for future fisheries management and policy of the shellfish industry in Ireland & Wales for the next 50-100 years. This will be achieved by assessing the effects of climate change, via oceanographic models, on shellfish productivity in the Irish Sea.

For more information, visit www.susfish.com.

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