National Public Radio’s Ashley Ahearn reported that scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are working to prevent outbreaks of paralytic shellfish poisoning that can be caused in part by red tides. They are doing this by tracking when and where red tides will happen next.
NOAA scientists were out looking for the algae in Puget Sound so they can predict where and how big the red tides might be in the spring and summer when the algae wake up form blooms and start to infect shellfish.
Winds and currents move the clouds of algae around making it hard to predict where these blooms will occur. So areas where blooms have occurred in the past are targeted.
Mapping the algae at the bottom of Puget Sound won’t replace manually testing the shellfish, but it may make the local Department of Health’s inspection job a bit easier.