International experts weigh-in on harmful algal blooms

Jan 06, 2009

Cambridge, Md. - An international group of scientists is linking nutrient pollution in the world's coastal seas to an increase in the number of harmful algal blooms reported in recent years. When harmful algal blooms (HAB's) occur, they taint seafood with toxins, cause human respiratory and skin irritations and cause fish or mammal kills in coastal waters.

In the December edition of the journal Harmful Algae, scientists present a compilation of 21 articles outlining the role of nutrient pollution in the increasing frequency of these events.

"Harmful algal blooms can have direct effects on human health and the environmental balance of our coastal waters," said journal editor and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science researcher Dr. Patricia Glibert. "By tapping the expertise of many of the world's leading voices on harmful algal blooms, this series of papers hopes to elevate this issue to the forefront of coastal management issues needing immediate attention."

The journal outlines several key issues driving the expansion of HAB's in the United States and the world.

• Degraded water quality from increased nutrient pollution promotes the development and persistence of many HABs;

• Understanding the complex relationships between nutrients and the outbreak of harmful algae is key to reducing future blooms; and,

• New tools for monitoring and predicting these events can help us better understand HAB's.

Source: University of Maryland

Explore further: Muddy forests, shorter winters present challenges for loggers

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists link nutrient pollution to coral bleaching

Sep 27, 2012

Too many nutrients can put corals at risk, a new study shows. Excessive nitrogen in the water affects their ability to cope with rising water temperatures and other environmental pressures, making them vulnerable ...

Could oysters be used to clean up Chesapeake Bay?

Jan 21, 2011

Chronic water quality problems caused by agricultural and urban runoff, municipal wastewater, and atmospheric deposition from the burning of fossil fuels leads to oxygen depletion, loss of biodiversity, and harmful algal ...

Recommended for you

Rising anger as Nicaragua canal to break ground

Dec 21, 2014

As a conscripted soldier during the Contra War of the 1980s, Esteban Ruiz used to flee from battles because he didn't want to have to kill anyone. But now, as the 47-year-old farmer prepares to fight for ...

Hopes, fears, doubts surround Cuba's oil future

Dec 20, 2014

One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba's northwest coast, and the thaw in relations with the United States is giving rise to hopes that Cuba can now get in on the action.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

GrayMouser
5 / 5 (2) Jan 06, 2009
Did they sample the sea water for concentrations of man-made nutrients?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.