Global Harmful Algal Bloom: status report 2021 : A Scientific Summary for Policy Makers.
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AuthorHallegraeff, Gustaaf M.
CC0 1.0 Universal
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractAmong the approximately 10,000 beneficial species of marine phytoplankton in the world’s oceans today, some 200 taxa can harm human society through the production of toxins that threaten seafood security and human health. These toxins are also responsible for wild or aquaculture fish-kills, may interfere with recreation-al use of coastal or inland waters, or cause economic losses. Non-toxic microalgae attaining high biomass can also cause Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) by producing seawater discolorations, anoxia or mucilage that negatively affect the environment and human activities. The most frequently asked questions about harmful algal blooms are if they are increasing and expand-ing worldwide, and what are the mechanisms behind this perceived escalation. These questions have been addressed in several review papers concerning HAB trends at various scales, where evidences of expansion, intensification and increased impacts of harmful algal blooms have been gathered from a selection of examples that have gained high prominence in the scientific world and in society 1,2,3,4. Eutrophication, human-mediated introduction of alien harmful species, climatic variability, and aquaculture have all been mentioned as possible causes of HAB trends at various spatial and temporal scales 5,6. Over the last 40 years, the capacity and monitoring efforts to detect harmful species and harmful events have significantly increased, thus increasing the reporting of harmful events across the world’s seas. The resulting information is mostly scattered in the ever growing literature, with data from statutory monitoring programs often not published in peer review journals, while an extensive and detailed overview of the huge amount of information on harmful species, their spatial and temporal distribution and the trends of HABs they have caused has never been attempted so far. This lack of a synthesis of the relevant data has hampered a sound global assessment of the present status of phenomena related to harmful algae. Following the lead of the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) consensus reporting mechanism, and to complement the World Ocean Assessment, the need has been expressed for a Global HAB Status Report compiling an overview of Harmful Algal Bloom events and their societal impacts; providing a worldwide appraisal of the occurrence of toxin-producing microalgae; aimed towards the long term goal of assessing the status and probability of change in HAB frequencies, intensities, and range resulting from environmental changes at the local and global scale. This initiative was launched in April 2013 in Paris by the IOC Intergovernmental Panel on HABs (IOC/IPHAB), and has been pursued with the support of the Government of Flanders and hosted within the IOC International Oceanographic Date Exchange Programme (IODE) in partnership with ICES, PICES and IAEA. As a first step towards a global HAB status assessment, a Special Issue of the journal Harmful Algae (vol. 102, February 2021) has been published comprising 12 papers 7-18 each presenting an overview of toxic and non-toxic HABs in a specific area of the world’s seas. The regional overviews build on existing literature and exploit the information gathered in two relevant data-bases, both incorporated into the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS).
Publisher or UniversityUNESCO
Series : NrIOC Information Document;1399
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/