A large bloom of the toxic dinoflagellate, Cochlodinium polykrikoides, is currently threatening aquaculture ventures off the west coast of Sabah, Malaysia. One fish farm in the Gaya area has reported fish kills, and a recent analysis of water samples collected in the area show a concentration of 4,500 C. polykrikoides cells per litre of water. Malaysian aquaculture companies lost millions of dollars of high value farmed fish during a similar bloom in 2003, and are working closely with the Department of Fisheries, Sabah to mitigate the effects of the current bloom. The Department of Fisheries, Sabah has assured local communities in the area that C. polykrikoides does not produce the neural toxins that cause paralytic poisoning in humans. Blooms of C. polykrikoides are known to smother the gills of fish causing asphyxiation.
Source: Daily Express