Network Established for Monitoring Harmful Algae Blooms in Yucatan Peninsula

Lucy Towers
06 August 2013, at 1:00am

MEXICO - The National Fisheries Institute (INAPESCA) has establish a monitoring network for monitoring harmful microalgae in aquaculture areas on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, in order to detect the presence of harmful phytoplankton and biotoxins that could affect the production of commercial fish species.

In this region, specialists from headquarters and the Regional Center for Fisheries Research in Yucalpetén INAPESCA, made both surface and bed samplings of phytoplankton.

Likewise, they also analysed the physicochemical characteristics in order to know the conditions in which harmful microalgae populations develop.

It is hoped that through these studies, information about the presence of harmful algal blooms will be identified, meaning that aquaculture producers can set the times on cultivation so that they do not become affected or move their operations to areas not affected.

It should be noted that phytoplankton (microalgae) play an important role in aquatic ecosystems, primarily to serve as food for many species such as molluscs (snails, oysters), bivalves (clams, oysters), crustaceans (shrimp, lobster) and different varieties of fish, among other marine organisms.

However, under conditions of red tides or harmful algal blooms, certain species of microalgae can be harmful to the marine environment and can lead to paralytic shellfish poisoning.