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Minimizing economical losses with the help of “real-time” algal surveillance
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences. (MPEA)
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences. (Plankton Ecology)
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.
Novia University of Applied Sciences, Ekenäs, Finland.
2012 (English)In: Eco-Tech 2012 Proceedings, 2012, 550-555 p.Conference paper, Poster (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Cyanobacterial blooms covering almost the entire Baltic Sea is a yearly feature during July-August. For the tourism industry at Öland island, SE Sweden, the economical losses during the summer 2005 amounted to 17-23 million euros. Remote sensing satellite images show that all the Öland beaches are covered with decomposing algae. In reality, these blooms rarely reach the western side of the island. To more accurately inform the public on the quality of the water for swimming, with the help of volunteers, a daily real-time surveillance of the algal densities on the beaches was performed. The volunteers (from 15 years old to pensioners) were trained at the Linnaeus University, from simple laboratory techniques, to more complicated ones such as identification and enumeration of the toxic cyanobacteria species. By latest 9.00 a.m., the public had access to information on the algal situation on 17 beaches. We could show that: 1) although remote sensing images showed Öland being surrounded by the blooms, our surveillance showed no algal accumulations on the beaches 2) that the real-time warning system boosted public confidence in the local water quality and during the first “Miss Algae”-summer 2006, the economical losses by the tourism industry turned in profits, the gain amounting to 17 million euros, 3) this kind of real-time surveillance is economical feasible due to low-costs involved, but also, the project has a great social value for the volunteers who mostly were pensioners. The volunteers who participated in “Miss Algae” had a good knowledge about the area they monitored (as their houses are located nearby) and could disseminate knowledge to the public in these areas. This kind of project also render a lot of interest regional, national and international, and can be used in advertising campaigns to increase tourism in the areas affected by algal blooms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. 550-555 p.
Keyword [en]
Harmful algal blooms, Economical losses, Real-time surveillance, Volunteers
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Natural Science, Aquatic Ecology
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-22720OAI: diva2:574735
Linnaeus ECO-TECH 2012 Kalmar, Sweden, November 26-28, 2012
Available from: 2012-12-18 Created: 2012-12-06 Last updated: 2015-06-23Bibliographically approved

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Granéli, EdnaEsplund, ChristinaLindehoff, Elin
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