Increasing ocean temperature is an important factor facilitating the intensification of harmful algal blooms (HABs). Such episodes have become more prominent in the north, posing a threat for human health as well as economic loss for the aquaculture industry. This project aims to develop a HAB biosensor that will serve as an early warning system allowing managers to monitor such harmful events remotely and in real time. We are testing whether a high- frequency non-invasive valvometer equipped to the Icelandic scallop Chlamys islandica can detect in an exposure experiment a simulated HAB event. The rationale is that gaping behaviour of bivalves change when exposed to a stressor and this can be employed for monitoring purposes. During the first year of financial support, we were able to start the experimental culture of toxic algae and built the first valvometer. During the second year, we will build a second valvometer to increase statistical significance of the results, and disseminate this in different fora. If successful, this project will provide the first steps in developing a HAB monitoring network for the northern coast of Norway were HAB sampling stations are limited to only two localities along the whole Troms-Svalbard region.
Project manager: Lionel camus
Project code: 1022018