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Posts Tagged ‘HAB’

Massive Red Tide Blooming in GOM Continues Growing

Posted by feww on August 12, 2014

World’s Largest ‘Sewage Pond’ hit by Biggest Red Tide in 10 Years

A massive red tide blooming off the coast of SW Florid, which is killing scores of fish, continues to grow.

The red tide stretches about 150km long and 100km wide in the Gulf of Mexico, researchers said.  The bloom was 130km long and 80km wide just last week.

“Satellite images from the Optical Oceanography Laboratory at the University of South Florida show a patchy bloom up to 60 miles wide and 90 miles long, at least 20 miles offshore between Dixie and northern Pinellas counties in northwest and southwest Florida.”

The bloom is the largest to plague the region since 2005, according to the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.

“Florida red tide,” which the bloom is also known as, occurs when a microscopic algae called Karenia brevis (K. brevis) begins to multiply out of control.

K. brevis produces a toxin that attacks the central nervous systems of fish, marine mammals and birds. The toxin has recently killed scores of fish, eel, sea snakes and octopus.

“This bloom has caused an ongoing fish kill. FWC’s Fish Kill Hotline has received reports of thousands of dead and moribund benthic reef fish including various snapper and grouper species, hogfish, grunts, crabs, flounder, bull sharks, lionfish, baitfish, eel, sea snakes, tomtates, lizardfish, filefish, octopus, and triggerfish.”

The toxin can trigger respiratory distress in people, especially those with asthma, emphysema, or other respiratory conditions.

“It could have large impacts if it were to move inshore,” said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). “It has been killing a lot of marine species, especially fish, as it waits offshore.”

“I have seen analogies that equate red tide with a forest fire,” said manager of the ocean technology program at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida. “There is an ecosystem reset.”

Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB)

Algal blooms occur in natural waters used for drinking and/or recreation when certain types of microscopic algae grow quickly in water, often in response to changes in levels of chemicals such as nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizer, in the water. Algal blooms can deplete the oxygen and block the sunlight that other organisms need to live, and some can produce toxins that are harmful to the health of the environment, plants, animals, and people. [Source: CDC]

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Significant Algal Bloom Forecast for Western Lake Erie

Posted by feww on July 3, 2013

Significant harmful algal bloom forecast for western Lake Erie this summer: NOAA

Western Lake Erie will have a significant bloom of cyanobacteria, a toxic blue-green algae, this summer, NOAA and its research partners have predicted. The harmful algal bloom (HAB) season is expected to be larger than last year, but less than the record-setting 2011 bloom.

“This annual forecast and NOAA’s weekly bulletins provide the most advanced ecological information possible to Great Lakes businesses and resource managers so they can save time and money on the things they do that drive recreational activities and the economy,” said NOAA’s assistant administrator for the National Ocean Service.

2011 Bloom image
Satellite image of record-breaking 2011 bloom. Credit: MERIS et al., – processed by NOAA

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