Mar 30, 2016

Are algal blooms connected to El Nino?

Chile
by
Avani Nadkarni
,
Fish Farming International
TOXIC: As 80 percent of disease is known to be water born, toxic algae have far reaching effects. Photo: Fish farming international
TOXIC: As 80 percent of disease is known to be water born, toxic algae have far reaching effects. Photo: Fish farming international

While the toxic algal growth can be caused by natural and regular upwelling in the ocean, “the development of toxic algae seems to be on the rise both in severity and in the areas affected,” wrote Dr. Bill McGraw, an aquaculture and environmental scientist and founder of New Aqua Tech Panama.

The latest Chilean crisis, he said, is from “higher temps of 2-4 degrees Celcius above normal due to a strong El Niño, lack of rainfall and water movement and lots of sunlight.”

“There are about 40 or so species of well known harmful algae producing toxins which are created to ward off consumption by ubiquitous, microscopic zooplankton,” McGraw said. “Harmful cholera bacteria thrive in zooplankton blooms caused by an increase in available algae and as 80 percent of disease is known to be water born, toxic algae have far reaching effects