New Research in the Gulf of Maine Improves Red Tide Forecasting
Scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science recently teamed with sponsored partners to collect sediment samples in the Gulf of Maine needed to find cysts of the harmful algae Alexandrium fundyense. The data collection took place on Nov. 6–11 aboard NOAA’s research ship Okeanos Explorer—the first time a NOAA ship has been used for such an effort—and was in collaboration with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, whose research has made Alexandrium forecasting possible. Data collected during the mission are expected to improve forecasting red tide events along the New England coast in the coming year. State managers use the forecasts to monitor the Alexandrium toxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning, ensuring shellfish are safe for human consumption.