Joint working group on Harmful Algal Blooms and Ocean Colour


A joint working group on Harmful Algal Blooms and Ocean Colour was established by the IOCCG (International Ocean Colour Coordination Group) and GEOHAB to help consolidate information regarding the suitability of ocean-colour techniques for harmful algal bloom (HAB) application in different ecosystems.

Ocean-colour radiometry offers considerable potential for the observation of a variety of HAB types. Realising this potential requires: a synthesis of bloom- and ecosystem-types amenable to remote sensing observation; a review of the benefits and limitations of ocean colour approaches in these typically optically-complex coastal ecosystems; and the development of appropriate phytoplankton ecological frameworks to realise the full value of ocean colour products.

The combined IOCCG/GEOHAB Working Group aims to: summarise the state of knowledge concerning ocean colour-based HAB methods; examine and demonstrate the suitability of various ocean-colour approaches through comparative bloom case studies from different ecosystems; and outline appropriate frameworks within which to further develop ocean colour-based HAB observation. A successful WG meeting took place in Cape Town, South Africa from 24-26 August 2010. A review of the meeting, plus an outline of the proposed IOCCG report is available on the working group website.