Toxic Algae Maps Aid Galveston Fish Kill Response
A scientist will map the extent of a red tide bloom during the course of a hypoxia-mapping project cruise funded by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science’s Gulf of Mexico Ecosystems & Hypoxia Assessment program. The bloom, which was discovered August 10, caused massive fish kills and respiratory and eye irritation along the upper Texas coast. Local officials wonder whether the fish kills are due to Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning-causing toxins, hypoxia, or both.
Some shellfish harvesting areas in Galveston Bay were closed immediately, but mapping will indicate other areas that may be threatened. The data will be used in predictive models being developed through a related project funded by NCCOS’s Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) program, which are intended to increase the lead time provided by the Texas HAB forecast. Results will also indicate the role, if any, of hypoxia in the fish kills.
This project is also funded by the ECOHAB program.