Phytoplankton form the base of the marine food web, however some species produce toxins that can accumulate in shellfish and other seafood and make consumers sick or even die.
Other species of phytoplankton can proliferate (bloom) in such numbers to create harmful conditions for fish or other wildlife (harmful algal blooms known as HABs).
This class will go through the various types of toxic and harmful algae (some with very interesting life cycles!) in the Salish Sea. I will also speak to how public health agencies keeps people and the food supply safe. For more information about phytoplankton and HABs please visit: http://www.whoi.edu/redtide/ https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/hazards/hab/