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Manual on harmful marine microalgae
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO has for over a decade given attention to activities aimed at developing capacity in research and management of harmful microalgae. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the topic, which covers taxonomy, toxin chemistry, monitoring and management, human health, etc., there was no comprehensive source of guidance with respect to both research and management methodologies until the first edition of this Manual was published in the ‘IOC Manuals and Guides’ series in 1995. The Manual was, and still is, intended to help fill this gap and to provide information and guidance in an easily accessible and low-cost format.
The term ‘harmful algae’ is not a scientific but a societal one, determined by the increasingly detrimental effect of these organisms on national economies. One aim of supporting research and capacity building on harmful algae is to help mitigate their negative effect on fisheries, aquaculture, human health, recreation areas, ecosystems, etc. Understanding the causes of harmful algal events and developing contingency plans has direct links with other major areas of scientific and societal concern, including eutrophication, integrated coastal area management, fisheries management, and transfer of non-indigenous marine species. These links are important in addressing the problem of harmful algae adequately and in a way that will allow society to understand and appreciate the results of scientific advances within the field.