Algal blooms poisoning seafood

January 7th, 2009 - 2:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 7 (IANS) Harmful algal blooms are increasingly poisoning seafood, causing respiratory and skin irritations, while killing off fish and mammals in coastal waters.Scientists presented a compilation of 21 studies outlining the role of nutrient pollution in the increasing frequency of these events.

“Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) can have direct effects on human health and the environmental balance of our coastal waters,” said Patricia Gilbert, researcher at the University of Maryland Centre for Environmental Science.

“By tapping the expertise of many of the world’s leading voices on HABs, this series of papers hopes to elevate this issue to the forefront of coastal management issues needing immediate attention.”

The studies outline several key issues driving the expansion of HABs. 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, researchers said in a Maryland release.

These findings were published in the December edition of Harmful Algae.

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