SAMS news room

Field study investigates toxic microalgae in Orkney and Shetland

From 20 August to 2nd September 2007, scientists from SAMS, the National University of Ireland, Galway and Ifremer (Brest, France) will conduct a joint field study in collaboration with NAFC Marine Centre to study the distribution of the harmful algal bloom (HAB) organisms Alexandrium and Pseudo-nitzschia in the waters of Shetland and Orkney.  Both areas support intense shellfish production but have experienced recurrent blooms of toxic microalgae in the past years and even months.

By sampling the water column for biological, physical and chemical parameters and the benthic environment for phytoplankton cysts, the team aims to improve the characterisation of the HAB species composition in these waters and of the factors that may be important in promoting blooms.

The scientists are also planning to produce a DVD movie that summarises the studies and findings from the project.

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