Harmful Algal Blooms in Asia: an insidious and escalating water pollution phenomenon with effects on ecological and human health

Abstract

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), those proliferations of algae that causeenvironmental, economic, or human health problems, are increasing in frequency,duration, and geographic extent due to nutrient pollution. The scale of the HABproblem in Asia has escalated in recent decades in parallel with the increase in useof agricultural fertilizer, the development of aquaculture, and a growing population.Three examples, all from China but illustrative of the diversity of events and theirecological, economic, and human health effects throughout Asia, are highlightedhere. These examples include inland (Lake Tai or Taihu) as well as offshore (EastChina Sea and Yellow Sea) waters. The future outlook for controlling these bloomsis bleak. The effects of advancing industrialized agriculture and a continually growingpopulation will continue to result in more nutrient pollution and more HABs—-and more effects - in the foreseeable future.

Keywords

water pollution, nutrient pollution, eutrophication, red tide, Lake Taihu, East China Sea, Yellow Sea

How to Cite

Glibert, P.M., 2014. Harmful Algal Blooms in Asia: an insidious and escalating water pollution phenomenon with effects on ecological and human health. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, 21(1), pp.52–68. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.46
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Patricia M Glibert (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science)

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