, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 524-537
Date: 29 Aug 2008

Toxic and harmful algae in the coastal waters of Russia

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Toxic algal species of marine and brackish-water plankton, as well as nontoxic microalgae, which are capable of initiating harmful blooms, cause a detriment to human health (seafood poisoning) and often lead to a total crisis of coastal water ecosystems. The Russian coastal waters are inhabited by dozens of toxic and bloom-causing algal species, their toxins are accumulated in the tissues of edible mollusks, and there have been incidents of human poisonings and marine fauna mortality due to these blooms. An analysis of the current situation concerning the problem of toxic algae and harmful blooms of nontoxic species in the seas of Russia provides evidence that it is necessary to create a system of compulsory governmental monitoring of the exploited marine areas to serve as the basis of ecological safety control in the exploitation of the biological resources of the Russian Federation, as well to introduce compulsory sanitary control of diarrheic, paralytic, and amnesic phycotoxins. The compiled summary of algal toxic and potentially toxic species met in the European and Far Eastern seas of Russia is given with notes on their toxicity type and its manifestations.

Original Russian Text © A.O. Vershinin, T.Yu. Orlova, 2008, published in Okeanologiya, 2008, Vol. 48, No. 4, pp. 568–582.