IFOP confirms Karenia microalgae presence in the Gulf of Penas

[Chile] Preliminary results of a scientific survey performed in February confirm the presence of Karenia cf. Mikimotoi microalagae in the Gulf of Penas and adjacent sectors.

Thousands of adult salmon and smolts, which were being transported on wellboats through the waters of the Gulf of Penas died in late January this year. This mortality was attributed from the beginning to the probable microalga bloom that generates harmful toxins for the fish, and was tentatively identified to the dinoflagellate Karenia mikimotoi.

The event mobilized the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (SERNAPESCA) in the organization of a monitoring activity in search of background that confirmed the presence of this microalga.

On February 16, the OPV-83 Marinero Fuentealba sailed from Punta Arenas with the mission of supporting the team of scientists from the Interdisciplinary Centre for research on INCAR Aquaculture, the Institute for Fisheries Promotion (IFOP) of the Maritime Territory of the Navy, and of SERNAPESCA.

During the eight days the survey lasted, oceanographic data were collected and water samples were taken in a total of 21 sampling stations to identify and quantify the microalgae presence. In addition, data were recorded on physical variables such as wave height, meteorological data such as wind speed and direction, atmospheric pressure; and water samples were collected to estimate chlorophyll, toxin and nutrient concentrations. During the survey, a preliminary observation was made by microscopy of the samples collected.

IFOP analyst, Hernan Pacheco said that in the analyzes carried out, the presence of this microalga was confirmed in the Gulf of Penas and adjacent sectors.

“This reinforced the information that the Institute has on the presence of this microalga, in addition to reiterating the presence of this dinoflagellate in the area of ​​Tortel in the southern sector of the region of Aysen and in the extreme northern area of the Magallanes region,” he pointed out.

Laboratory tests are still ongoing, and the results will be available in the coming weeks.

IFOP hightlights the relevance of improving the knowledge on the Gulf of Penas sector, since due to its oceanographic characteristics it is an area with very little knowledge and very difficult access. This time, this could be solved with the invaluable support of the Chilean Navy.


View original article at: Why algae is the ingredient of the future


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