New legislation supports Oregon fisheries

Newport News Times

The passage of House Bill 3114 is another historic Oregon first in the fight against ocean acidification and hypoxia (OAH) and shows Oregon leaders’ awareness of the importance of healthy oceans. Oregon is an epicenter for OAH and was one of the first places in the world to observe direct impacts of ocean change when oyster hatchery production collapsed in 2007 from ocean acidification.

The bill provides $1.9 million to fund research and monitoring along the Oregon coast and estuaries, develop best management practices and conduct outreach and education. ODFW will directly receive $470,000 of this funding to assess shellfish and habitat in estuaries and map estuaries to document long-term OAH impacts.

“This legislative investment helps ODFW keep a finger on the pulse of our estuaries by increasing our capacity to survey shellfish and estuary habitats more frequently,” said Caren Braby, ODFW marine resources program manager and co-chair of Oregon’s OAH Council. “Estuaries provide important nursery habitat for many ocean species and support both commercial and recreational fisheries as well as oyster mariculture operations.”

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