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Monitoring of harmful algal blooms along the Norwegian coast using bio-optical methods

G Johnsen
E Sakshaug


A Norwegian monitoring system for harmful algal blooms, consisting of an Observer Network, the State Food Hygiene Control Agency, the Oceanographic Company of Norway, the Institute of Marine Research and the Directorate for Fisheries, is reviewed. Potentially harmful algae on the Norwegian coast are found primarily in four classes of phytoplankton, dinoflagellates, prymnesiophytes, diatoms and raphidophytes. The system consists of buoys designed for real-time, in situ monitoring and forecasting, and is used principally to provide an early warning to the aquaculture industry. The system allows detection of potentially toxic species, through a combination of physical, chemical, biological and bio-optical data. New datasets using bio-optical techniques on glass-fibre filters are also described, providing information on the composition and health of phytoplankton populations.