Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Harmful Algal Bloom (Red Tide) Models and Forecasts to be Expanded in Gulf of Maine

18.10.2006
New Program Could Reopen Valuable Offshore Shellfish Beds
A new observation and modeling program focused on the southern Gulf of Maine and adjacent New England shelf waters could aid policymakers in deciding whether or not to re-open, develop, and manage offshore shellfish beds with potential sustained harvesting value of more than $50 million per year. These areas are presently closed to the harvest of certain species of shellfish due to the presence of red tide toxins.

Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and colleagues from seven other universities or agencies began the five-year Gulf of Maine Toxicity program, or GOMTOX, on September 1. The $7.5 million dollar program is funded by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s (NOAA) National Ocean Service, Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (NOS/CSCOR) through the ECOHAB program.

The new research effort expands past studies in the Gulf of Maine and builds on data collected during the historic 2005 red tide, which led to closure of both nearshore shellfish beds and offshore beds in federal waters out to Georges Bank. The toxicity also extended for the first time to the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

The Gulf of Maine (GoM) and its adjacent southern New England shelf is a vast region with extensive shellfish resources, large portions of which are frequently contaminated with paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins produced by the dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense. The 2005 outbreak caused millions of dollars in economic damage, but monitoring programs and cooperation among federal, state and local officials, scientists, and shellfishermen prevented any reported cases of illness from people eating contaminated shellfish.

“As a result of the 2005 bloom and the closures in federal waters offshore and on the Cape and Islands, we realized we needed to expand efforts and develop a full, regional-scale understanding of Alexandrium fundyense blooms,” lead investigator Don Anderson of WHOI said. “We don’t understand the linkages between bloom dynamics and toxicity in waters near shore versus the offshore, nor do we know how toxicity is delivered to the shellfish in those offshore waters. An additional challenge is the need to expand modeling and forecasting capabilities to include the entire region, and to transition these tools to operational and management use.”

Anderson said the information and new technologies gained from the project will help managers, regulators and the shellfish industry to fully utilize and effectively manage both nearshore and offshore shellfish resources, and could lead to harvesting of the offshore surfclam and ocean quahog beds on Georges Bank and Nantucket Shoals, which have an estimated potential value of more than $50 million a year. The program should also provide information crucial to the development of a roe-on scallop industry in those waters - a product which is presently restricted because of toxin that accumulates in the roe.

GOMTOX will utilize a combination of large-and small-scale survey cruises, autonomous gliders, moored instruments and traps, drifters, satellite imagery and numerical models. Researchers will incorporate field observations into a suite of numerical models of the region for hindcasting and forecasting applications for both near shore and offshore shellfish resources.

In addition to WHOI researchers, scientists participating in GOMTOX represent Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans, NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, the Canadian National Research Council, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, University of Maine, University of Massachusetts, and the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.

“We will be working closely with federal, state and local officials, resource managers and shellfishermen to synthesize results and disseminate the information and technology,” Anderson said. “Our ultimate goal is to transition scientific and management tools to the regulatory community for operational use. This project covers the entire Gulf fo Maine, including the Bay of Fundy, so there are many affected user groups, communities, and industries who stand to benefit.”

Shelley Dawicki | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.whoi.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>