By Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle)

Emissions from vehicles and industrial smokestacks are making Puget Sound and Hood Canal waters more acidic, which could have adverse affects on shellfish, according to a new study that included scientists from the University of Washington.

The findings were made public Monday. Earlier, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported (subscription required) June 25 about a malady that is killing Northwest oysters in their larval stage and threatening the stateâ¿¿s $100 million oyster industry.

The resulting shortage of young ⿿seed⿝ oysters already is limiting production at some of the state⿿s 300 oyster farms, reducing growers⿿ ability to meet new demand created by the Gulf of Mexico oil leak. If the shortage of young oysters is not reversed, production could be halted within a few years.

The findings about increased acidity of local waters were part of a study conducted by researchers from the University of Washington and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The study was posted Monday on the website of the journal Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Seattletimes.com reported the studyâ¿¿s findings Monday. The research is based on water samples taken in 2008.

Click here for a link to the study.

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