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More harmful algal bloom impacts emerge amid rising seafood demand

More harmful algal bloom impacts emerge amid rising seafood demand

More harmful algal bloom impacts emerge amid rising seafood demand. The first-ever analysis of harmful algal blooms (HAB) 9,500 of which have been recorded globally over the last 33 years. Reveals that the harm is increasing in lockstep with the aquaculture industry, marine exploitation, and coastal development, According to a report released Tuesday by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

According to the seven-year research, recorded HAB incidents have grown in some locations, declined, or remained stable in others. And establishes the world’s first baseline against which to measure future developments.

The study, ‘Perceived global increase in algal blooms is due to increased monitoring and emerging bloom impacts,’. Published in the Nature journal Communications Earth & Environment. Establishes the world’s first baseline against which to track future shifts in the location, frequency, and impacts of HABs. This depends on the kind of marine algae involved among the 250 hazardous species.

The researchers analyzed both the global Harmful Algal Event Database (HAAT). Which contains 9,503 events with one or more impacts on human society. And the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS). Which contains seven million microalgal observation records, including 289,668 occurrences of toxic algal species.

More harmful algal bloom impacts emerge amid rising seafood demand

After adjusting for increased monitoring effort, the researchers discovered that regionally documented HAB episodes had risen in Central America. And also in the Caribbean, South America, the Mediterranean, and North Asia.

They have declined on the United States of America’s West Coast, Australia, and New Zealand. And there has been no discernible shift on the East Coast of America, in Southeast Asia, or in Europe.

However, the majority of the repercussions were limited to shellfish harvesting area closures; human poisonings occurred seldom. Ciguatera event records, on the other hand, are nearly entirely based on medical reports of human poisonings.

Eight of the nine locations studied exhibited an increase of hazardous event reports submitted to HAEDAT each year. Moreover, six of which were statistically significant.

Meanwhile, the OBIS dataset revealed an overall rise in sampling effort in five of the nine areas.

The researchers discover no statistically significant worldwide trends after analyzing the all available data.

However, they discovered that aquaculture production increased sixteenfold from 11.35 million tonnes of seafood in 1985 to 178.5 million tonnes in 2018, with the greatest increases occurring in Southeast Asia and South America, the Caribbean, and Central America, while North America and Europe stabilized.

More harmful algal bloom impacts emerge amid rising seafood demand

In all places with data adequate for the analysis. So, the frequency of reported hazardous algal bloom episodes overtime was highly associated with enhanced aquaculture output.

Gustaaf M. Hallegraeff, the main author from the University of Tasmania, said, however: “Intensified aquaculture certainly results in an increase in HAB monitoring activities, which are necessary for the industry’s sustainability and protection of human health.

More harmful algal bloom impacts emerge amid rising seafood demand

“Additionally, aquaculture has a secondary consequence of nutrient contamination. However, a significant data gap occurs here. We have data on HAB monitoring efforts using OBIS records as a proxy for doing a meta-analysis of HABs versus aquaculture. However, data on nutrient contamination are insufficient.

“Aquaculture-related nutrients and HABs, therefore, constitute an attractive area for future investigation.”

The research discovered a fourfold rise in sightings of organisms mostly responsible for Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning from 1985 to 2018. (84,392 OBIS records).

It reports a sevenfold rise in the number of organisms responsible for Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (128,282 OBIS data) and a sixfold rise in the number of species responsible for Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (128,282 OBIS records) (9,887 OBIS records).

In each instance, the evident rise in the number of observed problematic species coincided with an increase in the number of records of related toxic syndrome effects.

Additionally, they discovered that the presence of poisonous HAB species does not always properly predict human shellfish poisonings. So, which the research attributes to many impacted nations’ food safety risk management policies.

More harmful algal bloom impacts emerge amid rising seafood demand

Globally around 11,000 non-fatal cases of Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning were documented. Mostly in Europe, South America, and Japan, with the primary consequence being the closure of shellfish harvesting areas.

Additionally, the paper notes that despite the extensive distribution of the causative algal species, no human deaths have been reported as a result of Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning since the 1987 occurrence on Prince Edward Island, Canada (150 illnesses, three fatalities).

However, ASP-associated deaths of significant marine mammals are becoming a rising problem in Alaska and other regions of western North America, and ASP poisons have been related to marine mammal calf deaths in Argentina.

From 1985 to 2018, the majority of the world’s 3,800 human Paralytic Shellfish Poisonings (2,555 from 1983 to 2013, including 165 deaths) happened in the Philippines, which is heavily reliant on aquaculture for human dietary protein.

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Written by Ankur J Kakoti

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