"Red tide is a chronic problem throughout the Gulf of Maine, affecting commercial and recreational harvesting interests," said Chris Nash, shellfish program manager for the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. "State agencies are responsible for monitoring toxicity levels in shellfish harvest areas and implementing harvest closures when needed. As a state manager, regional-scale, seasonal outlooks help us plan and use limited monitoring resources effectively. Ultimately our goals are to protect public health and give consumers confidence in the quality of the seafood products they purchase from markets and restaurants, and these forecasts are useful in realizing those goals."
Project researchers regularly share their field observations and models with more than 150 coastal resource and fisheries managers in six states as well as federal agencies such as NOAA, the FDA and the EPA. Real-time forecasts are updated on a weekly basis and additional information will be provided on the "Current Status" page of the Northeast PSP website. The National Weather Service is also providing extended hydrological and meteorological outlooks to accompany the bloom forecasts.
"NOAA-funded research has led to the development of seasonal forecasts which aid in monitoring and planning for red tides," said Quay Dortch, program coodinator for NOAA's Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) Program. "These forecasts will be an important part of the Operational HAB Forecasting System NOAA is developing to reduce the impacts of harmful algae."
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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution