25 April, 2016

IFOP carries out investigation of red tide

January 12th, 2018 Periodista Gabriela.Gutiérrez

Chiloé marzo-abril 2016_2

The bloom of noxious algae (FANs) corresponds to a proliferation of microscopic algae in aquatic ambient, which can provoke the massive death of fish and a huge variety of other organisms, also they can contaminate the shellfish with toxins, and alter the echo systems, in such a way that human being consider these as harmful or noxious. The impact on man and his activity includes intoxications by consumption of shellfish, which can be lethal; massive death of marine organisms at his natural ambient, and nurse or fattening systems; alteration of coastal habitats, and thereby, consequent effects in the social and economical systems.

In Chile, there is a national program of surveillance and control of FANs and marine toxins, which includes the fiords and channels of Austral south, including the regions of Los Lagos , Aysén and Magallanes, in charge of Instituto de Fomento Pesquero (IFOP). The Dr. Leonardo Guzmán explained that all the activities carried out by IFOP professionals “are intended for monitoring in order to know the distribution and abundance of noxious microalgae, and also for detecting the marine toxins, and the accomplishment of studies in order to obtain a better comprehension of this events.”

Aysén marzo-abril 2016_2

Based on these studies, plus individual information, Health Authority ordered a sanitary alert at Region de Los Lagos, due to the current levels of paralyzing toxin detected in the shellfish, which exceed the standard at different points of the region, that is, it is forbidden to extract, transport, market, product, move, process and tenancy of shellfish (lams, small mussels, mussels, clams, oysters, Ensis macha,Tagelus dombeii, ostrea, Austromegabalanus psittacus, Buccinum concholepas Bruguière and trumulco snail) from this geographic area.

Dr. Guzman informed that “the bloom that had commenced at the end of January at Aysen region, which was caused by the dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella, was gradually extending northward, covering the southeast sector of the island of Chiloe, and coming in the middle March to the sector of Desertores Islands in the inland sea of Chiloé. Progressively, the health authority has being detecting in different places where bloom is taking place, the presence of paralyzing poison in shellfish analyzed. Unlike previous years, it is surprising the extent of bloom in the region of Los Lagos, as in this moment, currently, an extensive bloom is happening at the open coast of the Pacific Ocean and entering through the Chacao Channel, with detections of the microalgae even in the area of Bahia Mansa, in the province of Osorno.

Although there is no substantial evidence, the conditions occurred during the summer, especially benign, seem to be related to El Niño 2015-16, which has shown intensity even higher than el Niño, more intense of last century, 1982-83 and 1997-98.”

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