Applied simulations and integrated modelling for the understanding of toxic and harmful algal blooms (ASIMUTH): Integrated HAB forecast systems for Europe’s Atlantic Arc

Julie Maguire, C Cusack, Manuel Ruiz_villarreal, joe Silke, Deirdre McElligott, Keith Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)


Reasons for the emergent interest in HABs are abundant, including concerns associated with human health, adverse effects on biological resources, economic losses attributed to recreation, tourism and seafood related industries, and the cost of maintaining public advisory services and monitoring
programs for shellfish toxins and water quality. The impact of HABs can potentially be mitigated by early warning of their development. In this regard the project ASIMUTH (Applied Simulations and Integrated Modelling for the Understanding of Toxic and Harmful algal blooms) was borne in order to develop short term HAB alert systems for Atlantic Europe. This was achieved using information on the most current marine conditions (weather, water characteristics, toxicity, harmful algal presence etc.) combined with
high resolution local numerical predictions. This integrated, multidisciplinary, trans-boundary approach to the study of HABs developed during ASIMUTH led to a better understanding of the physical, chemical and ecological factors controlling these blooms, as well as their impact on human activities. The outcome was an appropriate alert system for an effective management of areas that are usually associated with HAB events and where these episodes may have a more significant negative impact on human activities. Specifically for the aquaculture industry, the information provided enabled farmers to adapt their
working practices in time to prevent mortalities in finfish farms and/or manage their shellfish harvest more effectively. This paper summarises the modelling and alert developments generated by the ASIMUTH project.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-166
Number of pages6
JournalHarmful Algae
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2016



  • HAB
  • Aquaculture
  • Modelling
  • Monitoring

Cite this