What are Harmful Algal Blooms?
Last Friday, part one of the 5th International Conference on Prevention and Management of Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB), took place at our University. We hosted researchers and scholars from different parts of the world that came to discuss the fate of our waters and elaborating on invisible things.
The Microbes Move the People
I’m referring to the microscopic “enemy”, the Harmful Algal Blooms – A bloom of very tiny plant organisms that cause a negative impact to the ecosystem of the waters they spread out on. Like parasites from hell, they annihilate aquatic life.
HAB is the rapid amount of algae (the tiny plant organisms) growth in a body of water and it can occur in both freshwater and seawater. HAB can reach up to millions of cells per millimeter causing a negative impact to the environment by endangering the entire marine life of a certain sea area. These living cells absorbs all the nutrients from the water in order to reproduce more of its own and leaving behind a ballast of toxins. It has been proven that the climate instability and ocean warming has helped to drive this problem.
We had the privilege to have with us three different guests speakers highly trained and with a vast knowledge in the area: Dr. Donald Anderson from Woods Hole Oceanography Institution, USA, who has his own laboratory of research; Prof. Rhodora Azanza who is an Academician at the National Academy of Science and Technology and also Professor at the Marine Science Institute, Philippines; and lastly Dr. Hoe Chang, researcher of the Atmospheric and Oceanographic Research Institute, New Zealand; presenting their research and findings with possible ways of mitigation of HAB.
Every lecturer approached to the subject in different angle such as how to improve the accuracy of the forecast system and the management of Fish Kills in certain parts of the globe always referring back on how to prevent and control HAB. The talk continued in more depth the next day at the Venetian Macau. For more details on the event, view our previous post here.
Thales Lopes – Year 1, Communications and Media