Home > Explore Data & Reports > Harmful Algal Blooms in Coastal Waters: Options for Prevention, Control and Mitigation


Boesch, D., D.M. Anderson, R.A. Horner, S.E. Shumway, P.A. Tester, and T.E. Whitledge. 1996. Harmful Algal Blooms in Coastal Waters: Options for Prevention, Control and Mitigation. NOAA Coastal Ocean Program Decision Analysis Series 10. Silver Spring, MD. 46 pp.

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This report is the product of a panel of experts in the science of blooms of unicellular marine algae which can cause mass mortalities in a variety of marine organisms and cause illness and even death in humans who consume contaminated seafood. These phenomena are collectively termed harmful algal blooms or HABs for short. As a counterpart to recent assessments of the priorities for scientific research to understand the causes and behavior of HABs, this assessment addressed the management options for reducing their incidence and extent (prevention), actions that can quell or contain blooms (control), and steps to reduce the losses of resources or economic values and minimize human health risks (mitigation). This assessment is limited to an appraisal of scientific understanding, but also reflects consideration of information and perspectives provided by regional experts, agency managers and user constituencies during three regional meetings. The panel convened these meetings during the latter half of 1996 to solicit information and opinions from scientific experts, agency managers and user constituencies in Texas, Washington, and Florida. The panel's assessment limited its attention to those HABs that result in neurotoxic shellfish poisoning, paralytic shellfish poisoning, brown tides, amnesic shellfish poisoning, and aquaculture fish kills. This covers most, but certainly not all, HAB problems in the U.S.

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