A recently published research paper describes the minimum requirements for an effective harmful algal bloom (HAB) observing system for the U.S. west coast to mitigate HAB impacts. HAB observing systems provide early warning and forecasting of HAB events to guide decisions to close shellfish harvesting to protect human health, avoid mortality of protected species, and encourage aquaculture management.
Based on nearly 10 years of research, much of it funded by the NCCOS Monitoring and Event Response for Harmful Algal Blooms (MERHAB ) and the Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB ) programs, the research paper in the journal Harmful Algae outlines the need for a combination of shore-based stations and a few offshore moorings with automated algal sensors. The article included the need for more comprehensive, but less frequent, sampling by human observers and the location and duration of deployment for automated sensors. The results were also recently presented at last November's Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Summit and in a special IOOS report.