Understanding how physical-biological coupling influences harmful algal blooms, low oxygen and fish kills in the Sea of Oman and the Western Arabian Sea

Paul J. Harrison*, Sergey Piontkovski, Khalid Al-hashmi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the last decade, green Noctiluca scintillans with its symbiont and other dinoflagellates such as Cochlodinium polykrikoides, Prorocentrum micans and Scrippsiella trochoidea have become the dominant HABs, partially replacing the previously dominant diatoms and red Noctiluca scintillans, especially during the northeast monsoon. Fish kills in the Sea of Oman are linked to a slow seasonal decline in oxygen concentration from January to November, probably due to the decomposition of a series of algal blooms and the deep, low oxygen waters periodically impinging the Omani shelf. In the western Arabian Sea, cyclonic eddies upwell low oxygen, nutrient-rich water and the subsequent algal bloom decays and lowers the oxygen further and leads to fish kills. Warming of the surface waters by 1.2 °C over the last 5 decades has increased stratification and resulted in a shoaling of the oxycline. This has increased the probability and frequency of upwelling low oxygen water and subsequent fish kills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-34
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume114
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2017

Keywords

  • Eddies
  • Fish kills
  • HABs
  • Hypoxia
  • Monsoons
  • Sea of Oman
  • Upwelling
  • Western Arabian Sea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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