Increase in Harmful Algal Blooms in the Northern Bering and Chukchi Seas

Scientists have documented an increase in harmful algal blooms in the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas, according to APM. The blooms carry toxins, but scientists aren’t yet sure what impact they will have on marine mammals.

“We don’t know yet if toxin levels in Arctic food webs are reaching high enough concentrations to cause health impacts in marine mammals in that (the Arctic) region,” Senior Scientist with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Don Anderson says.

Since bottom water temperatures have been warming drastically across the Northern Bering and Chukchi Seas over the last few years, cysts with toxic algae are now growing locally in Arctic waters.