Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Harmful Algal Blooms

  • Timothy I. McLean
  • Geoffrey A. Sinclair
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0851-3_829

Definition of the Subject and Its Importance

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) pose threats to the environment, public health, and a variety of commercial interests and industries. A single bloom can lead to devastating outcomes, including large mortalities of marine organisms (e.g., fish kills); toxic contamination of filter-feeding organisms such as bivalve shellfish that subsequently enter the market for distribution to consumers; economic hardships for fisheries, aquaculture, and recreational- and tourism-related industries; and a compromised quality of life for people living or working along affected shorelines. Depending upon the size of the bloom, its duration, and the number and types of impacts produced, a single bloom can generate multimillion-dollar losses spanning from local to international economies (see  Oceans and Human Health, Social and Economic Impacts for additional information on HAB-related economic impacts).

As well as a current concern, the issue of HABs will continue...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA
  2. 2.DeFelice Marine CenterLouisiana Universities Marine ConsortiumChauvinUSA