The IOC International Harmful Algal Bloom Program: History and Science Impacts
Oceanography Vol.23, No.3 72 C e l e b r at i N g 5 0 Y e a r s o f t h e i N t e r g o V e r N m e N ta l o C e a N o g r a p h i C C o m m i s s i o N The ioC international harmful algal bloom program historY aNd sCieNCe impaCts abstr aCt. Harmful algal blooms (HABs) have become an important subdiscipline within oceanography. Heightened attention to this topic as well as significant research advances reflect the global nature of the problem and the development of strong national and
... ional and international programs for HAB research and management. The planning, communication, coordination, and capacity-building activities of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) have been a key factor in this growth. Here, we highlight selected advances in science and management capacity for HABs and document the impressive growth of the field in the context of activities supported directly or indirectly by IOC. As we look to the future, the field has significant momentum and stability. Nevertheless, it will require scientific guidance and coordination going forward. With an appropriate commitment of resources from member states, the IOC HAB program can continue to be a major factor in the sustained growth of this important scientific discipline and its delivery of improved observation and management systems. b Y d o N a l d m . a N d e r s o N , b e at r i z r e g u e r a , g r a N t C . p i t C h e r , a N d h e N r i k o . e N e V o l d s e N b a d C Oceanography Vol.23, No.3 72 figure 1. habs and their impacts. (a) a visible red tide of Noctiluca, a nontoxic dinoflagellate that can cause damage when the high cell biomass in blooms of this type decay and deplete oxygen, leading to mortality in bottom waters or shallow areas. These cells produce ammonia, which is also thought to contribute to marine mortality events. (b) a closure sign prohibiting all shellfish harvesting due to an algal biotoxin. (C) a dead sea lion linked to consumption of domoic acid, the amnesic shellfish poisoning (asp) toxin. (d) a "bloom" of a seaweed overgrowing a coral reef. Negative impacts include shading and alteration of habitat and food web, and thus this is considered a hab. Images courtesy of M. Godfrey (A), Judy Kleindinst (B), five Cities gazette (C), and Brian LaPointe (D) This article has been published in Oceanography, Volume 23, Number 3, a quarterly journal of The oceanography society.