IOC Sub-Commission

for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC)


Harmful Algal Blooms (1990-2017)


HABs have been associated with fish and shellfish kills, human health impacts, and ecosystem damage throughout the world. Concurrent with escalating influences of human activities on coastal ecosystems, the environmental and economic impacts of HABs and challenges for coastal management have increased in recent years. The relationship between HABs and the increasing nutrient enrichment of many coastal environments of West Pacific countries are of particular concern. Increasing nutrient loading to coastal and enclosed environments is a result of agricultural, aquacultural, industrial, and sewage effluents. 

HABs’ recent trend in WESTPAC region has increased in frequency, variety of types, distribution and severity. Region shares same HAB problem in areas of similar environmental condition by similar mechanism (eutrophication, upwelling, organism transport, etc.).
Ciguatera in the Philippines
Cyanobacteria toxin (polycavernoside A) in the Philippines
Phaeocystis in China and Vietnam
Heterocapsa in Japan and Hong Kong (China)
Cochlodinium in Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia and Indonesia

Current situation HAB science in WESTPAC becomes recognizing of expansion of affected area especially by red tides and seriousness of the problem. It lacks of monitoring system and countermeasure against expanding illness consequences including a number of scientists especially toxin chemists still necessary to develop HAB science.

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