More reason to save our fish!

Posted by Shamariah Hale:   In a recent study conducted by researchers from the US, UK, and Canada; they found that 3-15% of calcium carbonate is produced by bony fishes. (Cartilaginous fish like sharks and rays don’t.) Bony fish excrete calcium carbonate because they are constantly drinking seawater. Calcium builds up in their gut, until they are expelled as crystals. Amazingly, this calcium carbonate reduces the acidity of seawater and is directly related to carbon cycle of the ocean. Researchers have still more studies to conduct, but they theorize that with rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels, bony fish may actually produce more calcium carbonate. We have yet to understand all aspects of this relationship and it processes, but in our battle to fight ocean acidification, why not have a little help? Just one more reason we need to save our fish.
Posted by: Shamariah Hale

3 thoughts on “More reason to save our fish!”

  1. The Calcium carbonate that is expelled by fish is one of the components of limestone and used by humans to make concrete or harden the haul road to allow truckers to transport more supplies to the north slope. With all of the carbon dioxide that is in the atmosphere from carbon fuel combustion (greenhouse gasses), I hope that many more species of bony fish adapt and survive to help fight global warming.

  2. Here is an article from the AP about Calcium Carbonate:

    Limestone Dispenser Fights Acid Rain in Stream
    Published: June 13, 1989
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    A modified water wheel that automatically dispenses powdered limestone has been installed on a trout stream to combat acid rain pollution.

    ”The powdered calcium carbonate we use is the same stuff that’s in the antacid tablets that you eat and it does the same thing,” said Ken Simmons of the Cooperative Fisheries Research Unit at the University of Massachusetts. Limestone is composed primarily of calcium carbonate.

    The water-powered device was installed at Whetstone Brook in Wendell, Mass., by the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service. It provides a steady dribble of the chemical to buffer the stream’s acidity.

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