HABs

HABsUnder certain conditions, populations of algae explode, and if they produce toxins, many marine organisms in the vicinity are in danger. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Sadler: We’re looking at what are called, HAB’s or Harmful Algal Blooms; that is, organisms that can create toxins in the water, such as paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins, which can effect marine life.Marine Biologist Lorraine Sadler has been conducting research at the Wrigley Institute on Catalina Island off the California Coast, with a team of Earthwatch volunteers.Sadler: We should be concerned about the Harmful Algal Blooms partly because the health of the oceans effects the health of us all. If you start to lose the small fish, then you’re going to lose the larger fish, and then you’re going to lose the marine mammals and then you’re going to lose us, because we depend a huge amount on those organisms for food. We first want to figure out why we’re seeing so many of these Harmful Algal Blooms. Why now? Why all of a sudden over the last – close to 20 years, that we have seen more and more of these?We need historical evidence to look at long term trends. When you have these things slowly happening, we may not see a significant change in our lifetime, but our norm may be what we’re seeing now. But somebody thirty years from now is going to see devastation. Somebody 20 years prior to us, would not see it or even think of it as being a problem because of the slow progression of this Harmful Algal Bloom happening. So data over time – over a long time, is going to help us to track why we’re seeing more Harmful Algal Blooms. Our thanks to Earthwatch. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

HABs

Long term studies can help explain why we're seeing so many Harmful Algae Blooms lately.
Air Date:04/10/2018
Scientist:
Transcript:

HABsUnder certain conditions, populations of algae explode, and if they produce toxins, many marine organisms in the vicinity are in danger. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Sadler: We're looking at what are called, HAB's or Harmful Algal Blooms; that is, organisms that can create toxins in the water, such as paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins, which can effect marine life.Marine Biologist Lorraine Sadler has been conducting research at the Wrigley Institute on Catalina Island off the California Coast, with a team of Earthwatch volunteers.Sadler: We should be concerned about the Harmful Algal Blooms partly because the health of the oceans effects the health of us all. If you start to lose the small fish, then you're going to lose the larger fish, and then you're going to lose the marine mammals and then you're going to lose us, because we depend a huge amount on those organisms for food. We first want to figure out why we're seeing so many of these Harmful Algal Blooms. Why now? Why all of a sudden over the last - close to 20 years, that we have seen more and more of these?We need historical evidence to look at long term trends. When you have these things slowly happening, we may not see a significant change in our lifetime, but our norm may be what we're seeing now. But somebody thirty years from now is going to see devastation. Somebody 20 years prior to us, would not see it or even think of it as being a problem because of the slow progression of this Harmful Algal Bloom happening. So data over time - over a long time, is going to help us to track why we're seeing more Harmful Algal Blooms. Our thanks to Earthwatch. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.