Principal Investigator
Alexandre Campos

Leader Institution

Research Teams


BlueShellfish: Solutions to prevent and mitigate the impacts of HABs in Aquaculture and Fisheries, in the context of global warming

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are considered a threat to the environment and to human health. Major concerns are addressed to the increasing occurrence of these natural events in certain regions of the world, driven by global warming and anthropogenic pressure. Human illnesses related to the intake of contaminated seafood have been attributed to these events. Furthermore, HABs have a significant impact in economic activities such as aquaculture and fisheries. The occurrence of HABs in natural areas utilized for aquaculture (or harvesting/fishing), can affect species growth and nutritional parameters, or even cause mass mortalities, causing huge losses in the industry. The regulation of toxin levels in seafood and other measures (e.g. forced closures to seafood harvest during the occurrence of HABs) have been contributing to protecting humans from serious intoxications. On the other hand, the impacts on the industry lack mitigation measures.
This project aims to contribute to the development of solutions for the aquaculture and fisheries sector, through the development of efficient methods for the detection of HABs (early warning), and the development of farming and depuration systems for shellfish to reduce the toxin load. The project also aims to advance in the understanding of regulated and emerging toxins (chemical and toxicological evaluation) and their global expansion, and toxin incidence and persistence in seafood (traditional and non-traditional vectors, species not yet investigated).
For the implementation of the project, an interdisciplinary consortium was built, which brings together specialists from different areas of knowledge and who will develop joint research and innovation activities which, collectively, will contribute to the technological innovation of the aquaculture and fisheries and sustainable growth of this sector and to environmental monitoring.