Marine biotoxins and harmful algae : a national plan
Anderson, Donald M.
Galloway, Sylvia B.
Joseph, Jeanne D.
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Marine biotoxins and harmful algae represent a significant and expanding threat to human health and fisheries resources throughout the U.S. This problem takes many forms, ranging from massive "red tides" or blooms of cells that discolor the water to dilute, inconspicuous concentrations of cells noticed only because of the harm caused by the highly potent toxins those cells contain. Impacts include mass mortalities of wild and farmed fish, human intoxications and death from contaminated shellfish or fish, alterations of marine trophic structure, and death of marine mammals, seabirds, and other animals. The nature of the problem has changed considerably over the last two decades in the U.S. Where formerly a few regions were affected, now virtally every coastal state is threatened, in many cases over large geographic areas and by more than one harmful species. The U.S. research, monitoring, and regulatory infrastructure is not adequately prepared to meet this expanding threat. In an effort to surmount these problems, a workshop was convened to formulate a National Plan for the prediction, control, and mitigation of the effects of harmful algal blooms on the U.S. marine biota. This report summarizes the status of U.S. research knowledge and capabilties, and identifies areas where research funds should be directed for maximum benefit.
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