Unprecedent toxic algae bloom threatens economy and ecology of West Coast of America

Since a few months already, a large band of toxic algae is growing off the West Coast of the United States.

The size of the unprecedent toxic algae bloom and the amount of time it has lasted in the ocean are already unprecedented.

Toxic algae – Pseudo-nitzschia – have been found from Monterey Bay off the central coast of California all the way up to the Aleutian Islands in the southern region of Alaska… So almost all the way across the West Coast of North America.

And the main problem is that they produce the toxic domoic acid.

NBC News writes:

State health departments in California, Oregon and Washington have all issued warnings against catching or eating shellfish and plankton-eating fish such as sardines and anchovies from areas off the coast.

toxic algae west coast, toxic algae bloom west coast, Toxic algae may threaten West Coast marine economy for years, Microscopy photo of the the algae pseudo-nitzchia, which produces the toxic domoic acid. Photo: provided by NOAA Fisheries
Microscopy photo of the the algae pseudo-nitzchia, which produces the toxic domoic acid. Photo: provided by NOAA Fisheries

Moreover, […]State fish and wildlife management agencies have closed off fisheries affected by the bloom—already resulting in millions of dollars of lost revenue to local economies.[…]

Warmer weather makes things grow faster, and Pseudo-nitzschia are adapting well to the change… So with the next extreme El Nino coming this algae bloom may really take some catastrophic dimensions.

Follow us: Facebook and Twitter

SHARE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here