IFOP expert warned on future cases of red tide

[Chile] “The most important thing is that I have been fortunate to be part of the knowledge of what happens with Alexandrium catenella and, from paralyzing poison, since it was detected in 1972 in Magallanes — and how this microalgae that produces a complex toxin for humans and higher vertebrates, have been creating problems.”

This was the phrase that marked the authority with which last week in this city, the head of the Aquaculture Division of the Fisheries Development Institute (IFOP), Leonardo Guzman, developed a master class on HABs and advanced research in this area, anchoring their knowledge of the variables, constraints and limitations prevailing in the phenomenon.

The expert, who participated in the seminar entitled The role of IFOP and its contribution to sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture in the Region of Magallanes — performed in the auditorium of the region’s comptroller, stated that there are several key variables to understand the phenomenon of the red tide, such as high temperatures in the aquatic environment, which by the way are not the same in each region.

“It must be kept in mind that such a condition will depend on the geographical area. I make reference to Magallanes, that would be 11° or 12°. That same analysis in the Region of Los Lagos will be 18° or 20°,” explained the expert.

Moreover, the biologist specified that a determining hypothetical factor in what is analyzed lies in the increasingly apparent climate change, which, among other conditions, involves heating seawater.

“It is predicted that it will generate greater problems with different types of blooms, associated with the phenomena Niño-Niña, which are linked to distance –- and — help understand these specific periods, which is what is happening,” said exemplifying with what happened in the Region of Los Lagos, from whose elements it is possible to understand microalgae distribution in the exposed Pacific Ocean.

Complementing the above, INFOP executive director Leonardo Nuñez Montaner explained that “on the other hand, since the greenhouse gases do not dissipate into the atmosphere, that CO2 is taken up by the sea and acidified. In short, when the temperature rises, it is the favorable condition for these microalgae, which generate these toxins, they can be reproduced in an enhanced manner”.

Currently, in terms of the red tide, IFOP has a special monitoring system of early warning, whose scales mark a maximum of 9, a figure achieved by this phenomenon in the Region of Los Lagos, which is diametrically different today from what Magallanes records.

“Here in the Beagle Channel, the last thing that was collected and handed in on Wednesday, is undergoing level 2, that is to say very low. More than worried, we must be alert for spring, ” noted Guzman.

The workshop took place in the anniversary No. 52 of IFOP and was attended by personalities from the regional, military, scientific and academic fields.


Photo: Head of IFOP Aquaculture division Leonardo Guzmán. (Photo: IFOP)

View original article at: FAU artist in residence to create paper from algae

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