Editorial: Current challenges in providing early warning of harmful algal and microbiological risk to aquaculture

Harvesting and production in aquaculture has been steadily growing over the past few years, both in quantity and value. However, several natural and human-related factors hinder these efforts, with impacts to both the economy and human health. Harmful algal blooms, enteric bacteria and marine viruses are currently seen as the major threats to shellfish and fish production and safety. The presence of these agents in the water has been the reason for persistent closures in production areas, sometimes for long periods, resulting in heavy monetary losses. For this reason, governments, management agencies and producers are seriously committed to address this problem and find a set of adequate tools to prevent exposure to these agents.

Anticipating risks for public health is essential. Data collected by monitoring programs, remote sensing and ocean models is essential in this identification. However, the nature and amount of information require novel and integrative approaches to merge, process, interpret and transform data into something useful, minimizing human intervention in the process. Early warning systems are one example of such tools and their use has been steadily intensifying over the past years, focusing on the forecast of shellfish and fish safety by tackling negative impacts of microbiological contaminants or viruses, for instance.

This Research Topic, therefore, welcomes recent developments in predictive systems at their many stages of development, as central management tools for the shellfish and fish aquaculture sectors. Authors are encouraged to submit their work in one of the many article types accepted by Frontiers, from Case Reports, to Original Research, to Brief Research reports. Perspective papers, Reviews and Methods are also welcomed.

In particular, this article collection focuses on the following aspects:
i) challenges faced by the shellfish and fish aquaculture sectors;
ii) integration of ocean data towards the construction of forecast systems;
iii) utilizing current knowledge and technology to advance shellfish and fish safety;
iv) community involvement in aquaculture: academia, private sector and national authorities.


Neira Del Río P, Mateus M, Silke J, Davidson K

Frontiers in Marine Science 9
07, 27, 2022
DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2022.973925