Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Algal blooms hit the poor of India hard

31.05.2010
The problem of toxic algae is not just confined to the Nordic countries – in India algal blooms are threatening poor people’s access to food and their livelihoods, a problem that has been exacerbated by global warming.

With funding from the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, researchers from the University of Gothenburg are to attempt to reduce the effects of algal blooms.

As in many other developing countries near the equator, millions of people in India depend on the sea as a source of income and food. Exports of farmed tiger prawns and other aquatic organisms are an important part of the Indian economy, and mussels and oysters are often the main source of protein for many poor people.

Environmentally harmful chemicals
But marine farming in India is beset with problems. When pathogenic bacteria, viruses and toxic algae attack, the farmed prawns are treated with antibiotics, which results in resistance. It is also common for the water in the aquaculture ponds to be treated with environmentally harmful chemicals.
Studying the effects
Global warming is predicted to make harmful algal blooms larger and more numerous, as higher temperatures lead to more precipitation and a greater run-off of nutrient salts into the marine environment. The south-west coast of India is particularly exposed in this respect, and it is here that a research project from the University of Gothenburg is to monitor the impact of climate change on algal blooms, with funding from the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning.
Environmentally friendly food
The background is that the Indian authorities are investing heavily in developing mussel and oyster farms in the hope that they will be able to increase export revenue and produce an environmentally friendly, protein-rich food for the country’s sizeable population. Systematic monitoring that can predict when and where algal blooms will occur is needed if the investment is to pay off.
Future blooms
Using their own investigations and material from Indian colleagues, Anna Godhe and her team at the Department of Marine Ecology will study how the phytoplankton has changed over the last 50 years – a period when the surface water temperature of the Indian Ocean has risen by 1.5 degrees.

“We want to find out which species are expected to cause future blooms, so that we can see how monitoring can be made more efficient,” says Godhe. “We will also be producing models showing how climate change affects tropical ecosystems, something that has only been done to a very limited extent before.”

Less aid
“I think our research is important, not least because India’s strong growth has meant that aid has been scaled down, at the same time as we have realised that environmental problems extend beyond national borders and are worried that everyone in India will get a car and a fridge. We forget that this is a country that is grappling with enormous infrastructure problems, and that more than 700 million people live on less than a dollar a day.”
Contact
Anna Godhe, Department of Marine Ecology, University of Gothenburg
+46 31 7862 709
anna.godhe@marecol.gu.se
Facts
Around 100 marine species emit some form of toxin. These accumulate in filtering organisms such as mussels, which cause illness and, in a worst case scenario, death for anyone who eats them. Other toxins cause damage to fish that are kept in captivity, such as farmed fish.

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New gene for atrazine resistance identified in waterhemp
24.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

nachricht Researchers discover a new link to fight billion-dollar threat to soybean production
14.02.2017 | University of Missouri-Columbia

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>