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Mar Pollut Bull. 2017 Jan 15;114(1):25-34. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.11.008. Epub 2016 Nov 12.

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

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Dept. Earth & Ocean Sciences, Univ. British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada. Electronic address:
College of Agriculture & Marine Science, Sultan Qaboos University, Al-Khod 123, Oman.


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.


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

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