International Journal of Oceanography
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 263946, 7 pages
Research Article

Is Occurrence of Harmful Algal Blooms in the Exclusive Economic Zone of India on the Rise?

1Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Kochi 37, Kerala, India
2School of Marine Sciences, Cochin University of Science and Technology and Nansen Environmental Research Center, Kochi 16, Kerala, India

Received 4 November 2011; Revised 30 December 2011; Accepted 13 January 2012

Academic Editor: Robert Frouin

Copyright © 2012 K. B. Padmakumar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Occurrence, increase in frequency, intensity and spatial coverage of harmful algal blooms during the past decade in the EEZ of India are documented here. Eighty algal blooms were recorded during the period 1998–2010. Of the eighty algal blooms, 31 blooms were formed by dinoflagellates, 27 by cyanobacteria, and 18 by diatoms. Three raphidophyte and one haptophyte blooms were also observed. Potentially toxic microalgae recorded from the Indian waters were Alexandrium spp., Gymnodinium spp. Dinophysis spp., Coolia monotis, Prorocentrum lima, and Pseudo-nitzschia spp. Examination of available data from the literature during the last hundred years and in situ observations during 1998–2010 indicates clear-cut increase in the occurrence of HABs in the Indian EEZ.