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Pfiesteria Report

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PFESTERING PFIESTERIA Is the problem with pfiesteria [a type of toxic algae] overstated? PART I PROBLEM- Is the problem with pfiesteria [a type of toxic algae] overstated? PFIESTERIA- Pfiesteria [fee-STEER-ee-uh] is also known as Pfiesteria piscicida [pis-kuh-SEED-uh]. Pfiesteria is a type of phytoplankton known as dinoflagellate, which means they have a whip-like tail (called a flagella) that can propel them. Pfiesteria is different from the other algae because pfiesteria can propel themselves; whereas other types of algae can only float. Pfiesteria can exist up to 24 life stages; four of them could be toxic. Pfiesteria has been in North Carolina's estuary system for many years killing many fishes and spreading a deadly disease. However, thousands of years ago pfiesteria was not so harmless. The algae used to be non-toxic. Pfiesteria was also different from the other types of algae because it does not perform photosynthesis; instead these algae feed off of other algae. Scientists have proven that as the years went by, human activity, such as putting nutrients (containing phosphorus and nitrogen) ...read more.


The health complaints also include reports of burning skin and respiratory irritation, followed by hard time to concentrate. Suddenly, the problem of water recreation arose. Would we close lakes that have been proven to have pfiesteria? Well, research shows that pfiesteria is not a problem in lakes, inland waters, or ocean waters. However, does that mean that the case of pfiesteria can be overlooked like that? Some scientists believe that the pollution comes from farms, especially where there are a lot of nutrients in their waste and emptying into rivers and lakes. The more scientists are researching about pfiesteria the more they consider the issue of water degradation to be addressed. However on August 5, 2002 Researchers went to find the toxin from the algae and were surprised at the results. Dr. Robert Gawley, an organic chemical professor in Miami, Florida put sheepshead minnows into a tank with pfiesteria in it. The fish died, but tests show that there were no signs of toxins. Gawley's research also proved scientists again when he found out that pfiesteria does not pollute the water, but yet attaching to the skin and starting to feed on the skin. ...read more.


Many people are wondering what and how they should stop the reproducing of pfiesteria. PART II MY OPINION- I think that we should research more on pfiesteria and its blooming stages and then start to find out more on how to execute this problem. I do think that while we are researching; try to stop pfiesteria reproduction. However, right now pfiesteria is not that as big of a deal as it should be. I think (until we have found a solution to the pfiesteria problem) that there should be a certificate on fish products that say that the fish have been tested to not contain any toxins or such. If we caution ourselves from the danger of pfiesteria than there would be less cases of people having a hard time concentrating and other side affects of being close to or digesting pfiesteria. Overall, I think that we should caution ourselves from fresh fish with abnormal sores and such. Until the case of pfiesteria is solved, then I think we should have to examine fish carefully before buying or consuming it. But still, if we find a solution to this problem, we will just have to live with this pfestering pfiesteria. ...read more.

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