Algal blooms in the seas around India - Networking for research and outreach
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The ever-growing reports on harmful algal blooms (HABs), their adverse consequences on economy and the pace with which consortia of institutes are being formed globally to understand their dynamics, prompted us to view the situation in India. Unlike the 70s, when blooms were phenomena mostly restricted to the temperate waters, the 90s have been witnessing their spread to tropical and sub-tropical regions as well. The Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts world database of FAO, Rome to which the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India provides inputs for the whole of India is examined. This database holds research publication details on aspects regarding marine, brackish water and freshwater. Patchy and scattered efforts on bloom research in Indian waters were discernible. Most of the investigations seemed only to fulfil academic pursuit, without any real link to human health concerns or economy. It is time to be alert as HABs are unpredictable and have implications that extend beyond isolated locations. Networking of various institutions for co-ordinated research and of voluntary citizens to interface between the research institutions and the community at large, all along our coast is an inevitable requirement.
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