The global problem of harmful algal blooms: necessity for integrated research programs.

The global problem of harmful algal blooms: necessity for integrated research programs.
Gentien P, Quod JP, Chinain M, Pauillac S, Laurent D,
Type de communication: 
Communication orale
Congrès Ciguatéra et Biotoxines associées (Nouméa, Nouvelle-Calédonie)

Harmful Algal Blooms are an increasing concern to populations living from coastal resources. In the case of pelagic species, successful management of the coastal environment requires a sound knowledge of the physical processes governing the retention, dispersion and transport of water constituents, including the plankton. The physical forcing mechanisms involved are various and may include alongshore wind driven systems, upwelling relaxations, changes in estuarine circulation resulting from increased freshwater discharges, and seasonal density-driven jets. Some of these physical processes are subtle yet may be crucial in the formation of harmful populations. In most cases, an effective collaboration is required between various scientific domains of expertise in order to understand the toxic species distribution, its window of appearance and its decline. Some examples and results are given. However, this approach should not be limited to the academic approach of plankton diversity. Since the qualification “harmful” is often used as a justification, a problem-solving approach should be privileged. While evidence that health problems associated with the consumption of contaminated seafood will inevitably increase in the near future due to global warming are accumulating, analysis of the successive crises related to phycotoxins and toxic events in France revealed a real problem in communication between shellfish farmers or resource managers, scientists and regulatory agencies. This stresses the need for implementing integrated research programs, dealing with topics as diverse as the economic impact of HABs on fishing industries, public health, and tourism, the epidemiological survey of new emerging seafood-borne intoxications, the monitoring and management of the risk associated with the consumption of contaminated seafood, the origin-transfer-chemistry-mode of action of the toxins involved, the development of reliable detection and/or diagnosis tests.
Workshop international Ciguatéra et biotoxines associées (Nouméa, 27-31 octobre 2008)