Chile and Japan collaborate on system to anticipate algae bloom outbreaks

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Academics from two countries working together to predict natural yet devastating phenomena. 

The Chilean University of La Frontera with support and a US$ 4.5 million finacning boost from Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is developing an early warning system that makes it possible to monitor, predict and detect the outbreaks of red tide in southern Chile according to mercopress.

The interest from Chilean and Japanese experts follows the massive losses in 2016 when a “red tide” – an algal bloom that turns the sea water red and makes seafood toxic  – caused the loss of 110,000 salmon in Chile.

On the Chilean side the operation involved the Fisheries and Aquaculture Under Secretary, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service, the Ministry of Public Health and researchers from the universities of Antofagasta and Los Lagos

Eduardo Hebel, deacon of the University, highlighted the importance of collaborative work, told the publication” “this project that we are launching has those particularities: it brings science closer to the population and to the reality of the environment, with a strong social component that improves people’s quality of life”.

Japan’s ambassador in Chile, Yoshinobu Hiraishi, said that “from our country we have supported Chile for several years with the aim of improving the quality of fisheries and the promotion of production. As an example, since the 70s we have financed different projects throughout the country, which have benefited the coastal communities, which makes us very happy. We hope that this initiative deepens aquaculture cooperation and the relationship as partners.”