What is the Harmful Algal Information System?

The Harmful Algal Information System, HAIS, will when fully established consist of access to information on harmful algal events, harmful algae monitoring and management systems worldwide, current use of taxonomic names of harmful algae, and information on biogeography of harmful algal species. Supplementary components are an expert directory and a bibliography.


The HAIS System is being built within the "International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange" (IODE) of the "Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission" (IOC) of UNESCO, and in cooperation with WoRMS, ICES, PICES, IAEA and ISSHA.


HAIS components:


The IOC Taxonomic Reference List of Toxic Microalgae provides a reference for the use of names and information on each species of toxic microalgae. You can follow its merge into the World Register of Marine Organisms (WoRMS) here.


The International Directory of Experts In Harmful Algae and Their Effects on Fisheries and Public Health is a specialized section of the IOC OceanExpert directory.


The biogeography of harmful algal species, HABMAP within OBIS (with ISSHA), is in preparation.


The HAEDAT is a meta database containing records of harmful algal events. HAEDAT contains records from the ICES area (North Atlantic) since 1985, and from the PICES area (North Pacific) since 2000. IOC Regional networks in South America, South Pacific and Asia, and North Africa are preparing to contribute. Guidance on submission of data and questions re HAEDAT can be found here. The HAEDAT associated Decadal Maps for the North Atlantic


HAEDAT Disclaimer: The HAEDAT database contains information based on yearly national reports by ICES and PICES member states. The available information on individual events varies greatly from event to event or country to country. Monitoring intensity, number of monitoring stations, number of samplings, stations, etc. also varies greatly and therefore there is not a direct proportionality between recorded events and actual occurrences of e.g. toxicity in a given region. Furthermore, areas with numerous recorded occurrences of HAE's, but with an efficient monitoring and management programmes, may have very few problems and a low risk of intoxications, whereas rare HAE's in other areas may cause severe problems and represent significant health risks.


Therefore, HAEDAT maps should be interpreted with caution regarding risk of intoxication by seafood products from the respective areas/regions/countries.


The IOC, ICES and PICES are not liable for possible misuse of this information.