14 Apr 2012

Funding for research on rare algae

12:05 pm on 14 April 2012

A Nelson scientist has obtained funding to research a rare type of algae, which threatens marine life.

Dr Tim Harwood from the Cawthron Institute has secured two years of funding from the Ministry of Science & Innovation and will work alongside a marine toxin chemist from the University of Tokyo.

He will research karenia brevisulcata, a unique and highly toxic algae, which causes the death of shellfish and young fish.

Because it is so toxic, Dr Harwood says it is very important to learn more about it.

Should a bloom occur in the Marlborough Sounds, where there is a large number of valuable fish species, it would have a major effect on the fishing industry.

Dr Harwood says the algae last bloomed in Wellington harbour in 1998.