SETAC Europe 2020 Session: Marine and Freshwater Pelagic and Benthic Harmful Algal Blooms

SETAC Europe 30th Annual meeting will take place on 3-7 May 2020 in Dublin, Ireland.

A Session on “Marine and Freshwater Pelagic and Benthic Harmful Algal Blooms: Toxins Production, Detection, Fate, Effects, Monitoring and Management” (Co-chairs Triantafyllos Kaloudis, James Lazorchack) is scheduled under “Track 6”. 

You can submit your abstracts by 27 November 2019.

Link to the session (Track 6).


Harmful algal blooms (HABs) in freshwater and marine systems are defined as an assemblage of eukaryotic or prokaryotic plankton which have the potential to cause negative health, ecological or economic impacts. These negative impacts are caused by mechanisms that include, but are not limited to, public health and environmental risks from toxin(s) production, light attenuation, diurnal swings in pH and dissolved oxygen, offensive tastes and odors, and impaired visual aesthetics. Examples of some of the major toxins found in various combinations are: (a) prokaryotes (cyanobacteria) – microcystins, cylindrospermopsins, anatoxins, nodularin and saxitoxins; and (b) eukaryotes (dinoflagellates, diatoms, chrysophytes and raphidophytes) euglenophysins, prymensins, brevetoxins, ciguatoxins, saxitoxins and domoic acid. In recent years, there has been new information about the potential threat of benthic (attached and/or buried) toxin-producing cyanobacteria and algae. However, there are still many uncertainties about planktonic and benthic cyanobacteria/algae and the nature of their benthic/pelagic life stages. There is also some uncertainty concerning whether there is a greater risk to aquatic life due to the effects of filamentous and matt forming toxin and non-toxin producing algae on feeding inhibition and smothering. What are the current knowledge gaps related to blooms of benthic cyanobacteria/algae on substrates (attached) and/or in sediment (buried)? What research is required to address these gaps? Do we have enough knowledge to develop mitigation plans and predictive models? What tools are available to track and monitor benthic cyanobacteria/algae and their associated toxins in freshwater and marine environments, and are these fit for purpose? What information do we need to make informed risk assessments and are our current tools/techniques sufficient? How should we best incorporate ‘omics techniques into benthic cyanobacterial/algal research? What are the risks of filamentous of matt forming cyanobacteria and algae? What are the current regulations available to address both benthic and pelagic HABS and what are the current difficulties in managing the conditions that contribute to toxin production? To help address these questions, the objective of this session is to exchange information on the distribution, detection, identification, , occurrence and interaction of both benthic and planktonic cyanobacteria and algae and their associated toxins and finally management tools or approaches to reduce occurrence of blooms.

IOC-UNESCO HARMFUL ALGAE NEWS No. 61 is now available!

Harmful Algae News (HAN) is an IOC (UNESCO) newsletter created to respond to the expressed wishes of participants in several IOC workshops on harmful algal blooms, in particular the IOC-SCOR Workshop in Newport, Rhode Island (USA), 2-3 November 1991. Its purpose is to disseminate information on harmful algal events and on research results as well as to announce research and management programmes, conferences, meetings etc. The initial address list included all the participants in the V International Conference on Harmful Algal Blooms. Nowadays, HAN has more than 2000 subscribers.

HARMFUL ALGAE NEWS No. 61 now online @

Visit the ISSHA webpage for more resources on Harmful Algae.

Algae blooms and climate change

A brief summary about the role of climate change on algae blooms written for the general public, is published by Climate Central.

“Algae occur naturally in most bodies of freshwater and saltwater. It’s normally fairly harmless, but the right combination of warm water, high nutrient levels, and adequate sunlight combined can cause a harmful algae bloom. These blooms can damage aquatic ecosystems by blocking sunlight and depleting oxygen that other organisms need to survive. Some algae, like red algae and blue-green algae, can produce toxins that damage the human nervous system and the liver (and they also stink — literally)………..”

Read the report here.


Webinar: Understanding, Tracking, and Predicting Harmful Algal Blooms – August 8, 2018

The North Central Region Water Network organizes a webinar titled “Understanding, Tracking, and Predicting Harmful Algal Blooms”.

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) can have serious repercussions for animal and human health. Their increasing presence has been linked to multiple events such as nutrient runoff, climate change, invasive species, and disturbed ecosystems. This webinar will look at what researchers are currently doing to predict when these blooms might occur; how these blooms are affecting inland waters and the Great Lakes; and how stakeholders and citizens are helping scientists track these harmful algal blooms.

Register today!

Many thanks to Dr. Lesley D’Anglada for sharing this information through the US EPA Freshwater HABs Newsletter.

Microginins from a Microcystis sp. Bloom Material Collected from the Kishon Reservoir, Israel

From the abstract of a recent paper by Anat Lodin-Friedman and Shmuel Carmeli, published in Marine Drugs:

“During blooms, cyanobacteria produce diverse modified peptides. Among these are the microginins, which inhibit zinc-containing metalloproteases. Ten microginins, microginins KR767 (1), KR801(2), KR835 (3), KR785 (4), KR604 (5), KR638 (6), KR781 (7), KR815 (8), FR3 (9), and FR4 (10), were isolated from the extract of a bloom material of Microcystis sp. (IL-405) collected from the Kishon Reservoir, Israel in the fall of 2009. The structures of the pure compounds were elucidated using 1D and 2D NMR techniques and high-resolution mass spectrometry. The absolute configuration of the chiral centers of the amino acids were determined by Marfey’s and advance Marfey’s methods and by comparison of 1H and 13C NMR chemical shifts of the Ahda derivatives with those of known microginins. These microginins differ in sequence and absolute configuration of the chiral centers of the Ahda moieties and by N-methylation of the Ahda amine group and extent of chlorination of the Ahda terminal methyl group. The compounds were evaluated for inhibition of the zinc metalloprotease, aminopeptidase M, and exhibited low- to sub-nanomolar half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values”.


Lodin-Friedman, A.; Carmeli, S. Microginins from a Microcystis sp. Bloom Material Collected from the Kishon Reservoir, Israel. Mar. Drugs 2018, 16, 78.

Useful resources for the HABs season – EPA Freshwater HABs Newsletter

The May 2018 issue of the US EPA Freshwater HABs Newsletter is published.

It features, among others, a list of tools and resources for the HABs season. The list of resources is useful for drinking water supplies, bathing water authorities and the general public.

You can download the newsletter here.

For subscription to the newsletter, comments, feedback or additional information, you can contact Lesley D’Anglada.

ICHA2018 Session: Mitigation of HABs and water treatment technologies

A Session on Mitigation of HABs and water treatment technologies is chaired by   Petra VISSER (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) / Triantafyllos KALOUDIS (EYDAP SA, Greece) – Session co-chairs*: Jean-François HUMBERT / Anthony MASSE,  within ICHA2018  in Nantes (21 to 26 October 2018).

Session description:

This session will focus (i) on the different approaches allowing to prevent and control blooms of toxic algae and cyanobacteria in natural and artificial environments, (ii) on the technologies allowing to remove cyanobacteria, cyanotoxins and odor-causing compounds in drinking water treatment and (iii) technologies treating ships’ ballast waters. From a more global point of view, issues on the sustainable managment of natural ecosystems can be approached during this session and joint communications between environmental and social sciences will be encouraged.

The deadline for abstract submission is now extended to 1 May 2018 !!!

See the list of session topics of ICHA2018.

ICHA2018 Session: Optical sensors and drone systems for the monitoring of harmful blooms

A Session on Optical sensors and drone systems for the monitoring of harmful blooms is chaired by  Jean-François HUMBERT (INRA, Institut d’Ecologie et des Sciences de l’Environnement de Paris, UPMC), co-chair: Kamel Soudani  within ICHA2018  in Nantes (21 to 26 October 2018).

Session description:

This session will concern the use of new sensors and of drone systems for the monitoring of harmful blooms in marine and freshwater ecosystems. One part of the session will permit to present the results obtained in the framework of a French research program (OSS-Cyano) on the development of a low cost aerial sensor and of a drone system able to carry the sensor and different tools for water sampling or for performing underwater measurements. This session will be open to other talks on the new technologies allowing to perform continuous monitoring of algal blooms and/or to assess the spatial distribution of these blooms.

The deadline for abstract submission is 15 April 2018 !!!

See the list of session topics of ICHA2018.



ICHA2018 Session: New major events & exploitation of longtime series (monitoring & case studies)

A Session on New major events & exploitation of longtime series (monitoring & case studies) is chaired by Jussi MERILUOTO (Abo Akademi University, Finland) and co-chair Catherine QUIBLIER / Maud LEMOINE within ICHA2018  in Nantes (21 to 26 October 2018).

Session description:

This session invites presentations on any major HAB events since the last conference, as well as analysis of long-time series, i.e. multi-annual datasets.

The deadline for abstract submission is 15 April 2018 !!!

See the list of session topics of ICHA2018.