Severe Outbreak of Toxic New England Red Tide Predicted
National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS)-supported scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are forecasting a larger than normal New England Red Tide or Alexandrium bloom in the Gulf of Maine. This year’s bloom could be comparable to the historic bloom of 2005 that resulted in an estimated impact of $18 million to the commercial shellfishing industry in Massachusetts. Alexandrium produces a potent toxin that accumulates in shellfish and can cause illness in humans who eat contaminated shellfish. This annual forecast is based on runs of a coupled biological-physical model, developed with NCCOS’s ECOHAB support and uses weather scenarios typical of the last few years. Weekly forecasts, based on current weather and oceanographic conditions predict Alexandrium abundance and the path of the bloom, providing critical information to alert marine resource managers and help focus monitoring strategies.
To view the WHOI press release CLICK HERE