Phytoplankton sensitivity assessment


Phytoplankton sensitivity assessment

This project was conceived and delivered in direct response to a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) event that occurred across a large swath of the Mahé Plateau in October 2015, causing significant seawater discolouration and the widespread death of coral fish. The significant impact of this event on the local fishing industry highlighted the need for improved in-country capacity to monitor changes in water quality that may be associated with HAB events, together with an enhanced understanding of marine phytoplankton identification and impact.

To accommodate these needs, this project delivered a self-contained, accurate and autonomous Conductivity-Temperature-Depth system with an integrated Fluorometer sensor, enabling long-term changes in salinity, temperature, depth and chlorophyll levels to be monitored. The deployment of these sensors generated the first high-resolution coupled CTD and Chlorophyll data within the Seychelles, providing vital new data that can be used to start establishing baseline environmental conditions for the region.

Countries supported



  • Provision and training in the use of a RBRConcerto Conductivity-Temperature-Depth sensor with Turner Designs Cyclops-7 fluorometer (CTDFl) for in-situ algal biomass detection for monitoring of bloom formation and distribution.
  • Stakeholder training workshop on phytoplankton ‘Biological oceanography, eutrophication and the formation of algal blooms’, including species identification and the interpretation of marine sensor data.
  • Supported the Seychelles National Park Authority with the monitoring of a potential bloom event that had been reported offshore by pilots coming into land at Seychelles International Airport. 


  • Biological oceanography, eutrophication and the formation of algal blooms (October 2016; Seychelles)

Alex Poulton
Principal Investigator


Latest News