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Scallops. (Photo: Imarpe)

Anoxia and ocean warming cause scallop death

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Monday, March 30, 2015, 03:00 (GMT + 9)

A study on the status of the environmental quality of the bay of Pisco-Paracas conducted by the Instituto del Mar del Peru (IMARPE) revealed that the recent mass death of scallops recorded in the area was due to the lack of oxygen and to high water temperature.

IMARPE recalled that in the Atenas area is where marine concessions of Paracas Bay are located, which is an area where scallops are put for fattening using bottom farming.

Experts assessed ten sampling stations randomly distributed along the Atenas area, where scallops were found with densities ranging from 22 to 163 individuals per square metre, demonstrating a high population density and uneven distribution in a shallow zone.

In addition, it was found that 43 per cent of the specimens did not meet the minimum legal size of 6.5 centimetres.

On the other hand, the assessed stations presented anoxia, a condition that occurs due to the little exchange of water and a high load of organic matter, which depletes oxygen as it decomposes.

Another factor was the increase in the temperature of seawater in front of Pisco, which added and caused the death of the resource.


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