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IMA > 2024 > January
Macroalgae within a Coral Reef Tobago

Harmful Algal Blooms: Why the need for concern?

Prepared by Aleisha Dennie, Laboratory Technician, Institute of Marine Affairs Have you ever heard of a ‘red tide’ that is followed by a fish kill? This phenomenon is caused by algal blooms which occur along coastal regions, making these tides a lot more noticeable.  Harmful algal blooms or HABs as they are commonly referred to, occur when photosynthetic microscopic algae, or phytoplankton grow uncontrollably within an aquatic ecosystem. These organisms pose many threats to marine habitats where they are found, but consequentially have the potential to harm humans as well. In fact, some are even capable of producing toxins that can bio-accumulate as they move...