Researchers with NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution completed the annual Gulf of Maine cyst sampling cruise in Oct 2020. During this cruise, sediment samples were collected to measure concentrations of Alexandrium catenella cysts throughout the region. These data helped to inform the 2021 red tide forecast issued annually for the Gulf of Maine, which predicted a low intensity, gulf-wide red tide for the Gulf of Maine, continuing the pattern of smaller blooms observed in the region over the last few years. . The nine-day cruise adhered to COVID-19 prevention protocols.
The cyst abundance for Fall 2020 ranked 16 out of 17 years of cyst sampling, representing the second lowest abundance on record. To learn more, please visit the NCCOS bloom forecast webpage.