Sea Technology

AUG 2017

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18 st / August 2017 www.sea-technology.com mans because of toxins that develop in specific zooplankton species. A thermocline, an abrupt temperature gra- dient in the water, normally develops during the summer in the ocean. The thermocline is an inhibitor of nutrient exchange of the upper ocean layers, which are nutrient poor, and the deeper layers, which are nutrient rich. Less nu- trient exchange inhibits the growth of algae. During the 2016 HAB in Chile, the bloom strengthened during summer instead of being inhibited. This was a result of a change in the circulation patterns of the Eastern South Pacific currents—likely due to the impact of climate change on ocean currents. The result was a loss of $800 million due to mass starvation of salmon in the marine harvesting sites of southern Chile. This event showed clearly that the companies were lack- ing correct risk assessment procedures. The basis for risk assessment and manage- ment must be real-time measurements over a period of time, and up-to-date meteorological and oceanographic param- eters are needed, among other elements. After the HAB event of 2016, fish farmers and oceanographers tried to un- derstand the special conditions that resulted in this massive bloom, but oceanographic data were not available in order to analyze the situation in depth. Permanent measurement systems of oceanographic parameters should be in place so the necessary data will be available to assess and predict future events in a better manner. Through an investment in the right technology, Chile can continue to make huge strides, improving the efficiency of its most important industrial sectors and positioning itself as a Latin American business success story. ST Christian Haag is the managing director of the oceanographic service provider Mariscope Ingenieria SPA, which is Nortek's representative in Chile. In 1994, he founded Mariscope in Germany with a fellow oceanographer. He opened Mariscope Enterprises in the Chilean city of Puerto Montt in 2001, with the idea of providing a proper service to Latin America. Mariscope's position is unusual in this marketplace, as it supplies and integrates this equipment, as well as car- rying out repairs and maintenance in Chile, rather than sending parts abroad. Mariscope supplies equipment from Nortek, the scientific instrumentation com- pany that develops and manufactures acoustic Doppler instrumentation. See Nortekgroup.com and Mariscope.cl for more info. Looking ahead, oceanographic measurements will also be important for handling harmful algal bloom (HAB) events. Permanent measurements of oceanographic param- eters, such as current and wave measurements, are neces- sary to feed the models that will help address these events with an efficient risk assessment in the future. During the summer of 2016, Chilean aquaculture faced a severe problem related to an unusual HAB. Although HAB events are common in the South Pacific, there has not been a record of a bloom with the scale and duration like the one in 2016. Two things must take place in the sea for an algal bloom to develop in this manner: There must be enough nutrients in the water and enough sunlight. If the conditions are favorable, the growth may be massive, and sometimes the growing species are harmful to marine life and to hu- (Clockwise) The AWAC in a permanent installation in a harbor in Chile. This ADCP has been deployed at this site for more than five years. Reliable and constant measurements of envi- ronmental currents and other oceanographic conditions can markedly improve the performance of fish farms in Chile. Sat- ellite image of the severe harmful algal bloom event in 2016 in southern Chile. The colors blue to red indicate an increasing amount of organic material (algae, etc.).

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