Are Pyrodinium blooms in the Southeast Asian region recurring and spreading? A view at the end of the millennium

Rv. Azanza et Fjr. Taylor, Are Pyrodinium blooms in the Southeast Asian region recurring and spreading? A view at the end of the millennium, AMBIO, 30(6), 2001, pp. 356-364
Citations number
Categorie Soggetti
Environment/Ecology,"Environmental Engineering & Energy
Journal title
ISSN journal
0044-7447 → ACNP
Year of publication
356 - 364
SICI code
Pyrodinium bahamense (var. compressum) has been the only dinoflagellate spe cies that has caused major public health and economic problems in the South east Asian region for more than 2 decades now. It produces saxitoxin, a sui te of toxins that cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP). A serious toxi cological problem affecting many countries of the world, mild cases of this poisoning can occur within 30 minutes while in extreme cases, death throug h respiratory paralysis may occur within 2-24 hrs of ingestion of intoxicat ed shellfish. Blooms of the organism have been reported in Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines and Indonesia. The ASEAN-Canada Red Tide Netwo rk has recorded 31 blooms of the organism in 26 areas since 1976 when it fi rst occurred in Sabah, Malaysia. As of 1999, the most hard hit country has been the Philippines which has the greatest number of areas affected (18) a nd highest number of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) cases (about 1995) . Malaysia has reported a total of 609 PSP cases and 44 deaths while Brunei has recorded 14 PSP cases and no fatalities. Indonesia, on the other hand has a record of 427 PSP cases and 17 deaths. Studies on ecological/environm ental impacts of these blooms have not been done in the region. Estimates o f economic impacts have shown that the loss could be up to USD 300 000 day( -1). Most of the data and information useful for understanding Pyrodinium b loom dynamics have come from harmful/toxic algal monitoring and research th at have developed to different degrees in the various countries in the regi on affected by the organism's bloom. Regional collaborative research and mo nitoring efforts can help harmonize local data sets and ensure their qualit y and availability for comparative analysis and modeling. Temporal patterns of the blooms at local and regional scales and possible signals and trends in the occurrence/recurrence and spread of Pyrodinium blooms could be inve stigated. Existing descriptive and simple predictive models of Pyrodinium b looms can be improved and refined to help in the management of the wild har vest and aquaculture of shellfish in a region where the people are dependen t on these resources for their daily food sustainance and livelihood.