General Information

Event name: ES-06-005
Country: SPAIN
Nature of the harmful event:
High Phyto concentration , Foam/Mucilage in the coast , Other ( People near the beach suffered respiratory problems)
Event directly affected:
Toxicity detected: No
Associated syndrome: Aerosolized toxins effects
Unexplained toxicity:
Species implicated in toxin transmission (transvector): Marine aerosols are the suspected vectors
Report the outcome of a monitoring programme: Yes (Pla de Vigilancia de Fitoplancton Toxic i Nociu a la Costa Catalana)
Event occurred before in this location: Yes (In August 1998 and in August 2004. See Additional Harmful effects)
Individuals to contact: VILA, Magda , MASO, Mercedes , SAMPEDRO, Nagore

Location & Date

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Location: Latitude: 41.550000, Longitude: 2.500000
General location information: Llavaneres, NE Spain, Catalonia
HAB Area code(s): ES-22
Additional location information: Affected sites are beaches.
Bloom event dates (yyyy/mm/dd): Start: 2006/08/26, End: 2006/08/27
Quarantine levels dates (yyyy/mm/dd):
Additional date-related information:


Causative organism known: Yes
Causative Species/Genus: Ostreopsis siamensis Schmidt 1901 (2000 cells/L)
Ostreopsis cf siamensis. 10 days before 18000 cells/L were recorded
Co-Ocurring Species/Genus:
Chlorophyll concentration, if known: µg/l
Additional bloom information: We know from this incident due to an emˇpidemiologic study done by the Sanity Department because about 33 people in the beach suffered from nose and eye irritation.
Event-related bibliography: Vila M, Garcés E, Masó M. Potentially toxic epiphytic dinoflagellate assemblages on macroalgae in the NW Mediterranean (2001). Aquat Mic Ecol, 26, 51-60. Penna A, Vila M, Fraga S, Giacobbe MG, Andreoni F, Riobó P, Vernesi C (2005). Characterization of Ostreopsis and Coolia (Dinophyceae) isolates in the Western Mediterranean sea based on morphology, toxicity and Internal Transcribed Spacer 5.8S rDNA sequences. J. Phycol., 41(1), 212-225. Vila M, Masó M, Sampedro N, Illoul H, Arin L, Garcés E, Giacobbe MG, Alvarez J and J. Camp (aceptado). The genus Ostreopsis in recreational waters of the Catalan Coast and Balearic Islands (NW Mediterranean Sea): is this the origin of human respiratory difficulties? XII ICHA PROCEEDINGS

Environmental Conditions

Weather: Turbidity (NTU): Wind direction:
Stratified water: Oxygen content (nL/L): Wind velocity:
Temperature (°C): Oxygen saturation %: Current Direction:
Sechhi disk (m): Salinity: Current Velocity:
Nutrient information:
Temperature Range During Event: Max: °C, Min: °C
Salinity Range During Event:
Bloom location in the water column:
In situ
Growth Comments
Additional Environmental information:

Toxin Assay Information

Species containing the toxin Toxin type Toxin details Max. concentration Assay type
Kit used: Type of kit used:
Additional information:
Economic losses:
Management decision:
Additional harmful effect information: In August 1998 fauna and flora mortalities were documented at the same place (Llavaneres). In the water column we detected huge cell concentrations on Ostreopsis (200 000 cells/L) and Coolia sp. (8 000 cells/L). In August 2004 In summer 2004 (4-10 August), an epidemic respiratory irritation outbreak affected 74 people in Llavaneres beach. The main symptoms were rhinorrhoea (74.2%), nose irritation (66.1 %), throat irritation (62.9%), coughing (59.7 %), expectoration (51.6 %), eye irritation (41.4 %) and migraine (40.3%). These symptoms lasted about 45 hours, and the estimated incubation period was around 3 hours. Sick people were beachgoers of Llavaneres (basically a rocky area), or residents of flats located very near a rocky artificial area constructed to protect the shore-line. Most cases of sick people (91%) occurred between 7 and 9 August, with a maximum reported on 8 August (56%) (Fig. 2). Unusual high concentrations of Ostreopsis were detected in the surface water (2.3•104 cells•l-1) on 6th August, decreasing to a maximum of 4•103 cells•l-1 on 13th and below 2•103 cells•l-1 on 17th August.