Global Harmful Algal Blooms

Benthic HABs

New tools are necessary to manage and mitigate the impacts of benthic blooms on human health and the environment.

P.T. Lim, University of Malaya

L. Escalera, SZN

HABs and Aquaculture 

The oyster farms are susceptible to algal biotoxin contamination and blooms that have direct lethal effects on the shellfish

Cawthron Institute

Observation, Modelling and Prediction

New capabilities in observation and modelling will improve the detection and prediction of HABs

O. Wade, Hawkes Bay Regional Council

Biodiversity and Biogeography

Combining modern and classic taxonomy tools and long time series will contribute to identify the factors that determine the changing distribution of HAB species and their genetic variability.

C. Whyte, SAMS

Freshwater HABs and Cyanobacterial HABs
Coordination will help to develop a global perspective in advancing the science and management of freshwater HABs, and cyanobacterial HABs in marine, brackish and freshwater habitats

M. Burford, Griffith University

One Health
The most efficient way to protect human and animal health is to prevent exposure to contaminated sea products.

Washington State Department of Health

In the broader picture GlobalHAB contributes to improved management of HABs as an ocean hazard through improved preparedness and early warning systems contributing to UN Sustainable Development Goal 11, target 11.5 and Priority 4 and Global target 7 of the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) 2015-2030.


Global Harmful Algal Blooms - GlobalHAB - an international science programme on HABs building on the foundations of GEOHAB

  • Science and Implementation Plan

An international programme sponsored jointly by the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO

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GEOHAB Synthesis Open Science Meeting Report


GEOHAB Open Science Meeting

UNESCO, Paris, France
24-26 April 2013

The Global Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (GEOHAB) Programme held a synthesis Open Science Meeting (OSM) in Paris, France, on 24-26 April 2013. This meeting had special relevance not only for the GEOHAB programme, but also for the entire international scientific community of researchers and managers engaged in the advance in harmful algal bloom research and mitigation of impacts.

This synthesis OSM had two objectives. The first was to review the scientific advances accomplished under GEOHAB since its inception. The second is to identify a near-future roadmap of GEOHAB-like activities to be pursued beyond 2013.

To achieve these objectives, active involvement of meeting participants, representing the global HAB community, was essential. For this reason, the OSM was structured somewhat differently from a typical science meeting, in four main axes:

1. Invited presentations that cover:

Review of GEOHAB’s past and present through its 5 Core Research Projects, Regional Programmes and Targeted Activities.

- Some relevant topics that can provide a general framework for future research on HABs.

2. Concept papers: Participants are encouraged to provide 2-page concept papers (i.e., proposals for specific activities, such as research projects, training sessions, or comparisons among ecosystems) that could be implemented between 2014 and 2018. The papers should be based on GEOHAB planning documents, such as the GEOHAB Science and Implementation Plans, and the Core Research Project reports ( The GEOHAB SSC will evaluate the concept papers to determine how they might be used for presentation/discussion.

 3.  Poster sessions will broaden the number of topics that can be considered during the meeting and encourage the widest possible scientific participation. We encourage submission of abstracts for posters following the guidelines on the conference registration site.

4Breakout discussion sessions among the participants based on both the invited presentations and the concept papers. Three breakout sessions are planned:

#1: What has GEOHAB accomplished and how was it done? What did and didn't work and why?

#2: Which scientific objectives can effectively be implemented in the coming years and what are the best mechanisms to accomplish them?

#3: Based on the previous session’s outcomes, how should GEOHAB be structured to most effectively move forward in the future?

We hope that with this diverse approach, a synthesis document regarding a near-future international collaboration on HABs research will arise from this OSM. The results of the OSM discussions and recommendations will be presented to the IOC’s Intergovernmental Panel on Harmful Algal Blooms, one of the GEOHAB sponsors, at its 11th Session, immediately following the OSM.

The Scientific Steering Committee for GEOHAB