Forecasting contamination risk for shellfish harvest and beach use
24 Oct

Webinar: Predicting ocean contamination and detecting algal blooms

In this webinar, Cawthron researcher Ben Knight will describe a new model for forecasting bacterial contamination in Tasman and Golden Bays, and Lincoln Mackenzie will describe innovative methods for detecting harmful algal blooms (HABs).

Our coasts are at the ‘end of the pipe’ for discharge from local rivers and streams, so seawater quality is sometimes compromised by bacteria from land-based activities. This can affect the revenue of shellfish growing areas and close local beaches to public use.

Ben Knight will describe a tool that provides a real-time ‘weather map’ of bacteria in the sea. Lincoln Mackenzie will discuss two innovative tests that are simple, cost-effective and sensitive that can be used by public health agencies, the aquaculture industry and communities for early detection of harmful algal blooms (HABs).

Coastal communities will benefit from these tools because they help to ensure that: beaches are not closed when levels are within safe limits; customary and aquaculture harvesting is not unnecessarily restricted; and risks of recall of contaminated products are reduced.

This webinar is open to everyone but will be of particular interest to people working in aquaculture, marine management, monitoring and ocean forecasting.   

You can join us at the venue, through a virtual hub, or register via Zoom videoconferencing to view on your own device.

We welcome questions in advance if you have anything specific you would like covered.

About the speakers

Lincoln Mackenzie is a research scientist focusing on marine ecosystem research, particularly harmful algal blooms, marine biotoxins and environmental effects of aquaculture. He advises New Zealand’s aquaculture industry, public health protection authorities and seafood export regulatory authorities. He leads the Early detection of harmful algal blooms project.

Ben Knight is a marine biophysical scientist with over 10 years’ research and consulting experience in coastal systems in New Zealand and Europe. His primary area of expertise is the development and application of modelling and remote sensing tools to help manage coastal and marine resources in a sustainable way. Ben loves finding interesting solutions to complex problems and making them accessible to help people’s understanding of system dynamics and uncertainties. He leads the Forecasting contamination risk for shellfish harvest and beach use project.


Speakers will be at:
Cawthron Institute, 98 Halifax St E, Nelson*

*All visitors to Cawthron must sign in on arrival. If you plan to attend in person let us know at [email protected]

Virtual Hub: 
Terra Nova Room, NIWA Christchurch

Set up your own virtual hub:
If you want to get a group of colleagues together and set up your own virtual hub, please email us at [email protected] so we can send you instructions on how to join the webinar using videoconferencing. 

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