In the Indian River Lagoon, toxic algae blooms poison bull sharks, researchers say
Researchers say harmful algae blooms are poisoning bull sharks in the Indian River Lagoon.
They say it’s a sign of the widespread impact of the blooms, as the toxins move throughout the food web.
The study from the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute shows the greatest concentration of toxins were in the sharks’ stomachs.
The researchers say that as they examined the animals’ stomachs, they also identified toxins in lower level species like catfish and mullet -- seafood that humans consume.
The study is the first to measure toxins produced by harmful algae blooms in bull sharks.
In the Indian River Lagoon harmful algae blooms have been devastating.
Most notably the blooms have caused a widespread loss of seagrass, leading to an unprecedented die-off of manatees, which have been left starving.