For instance, previous studies on invasive aquatic species performed by the lab in the early 2000s led us to organize and coordinate a nation-wide assessment of marine exotic species. Several marine scientists from USP and other Brazilian research institutions participated in this effort. The final result was a book in Portuguese entitled "National report on exotic and invasive species in the marine environment", an official publication of the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment, which has become a major reference for management actions concerning the control of marine invasive species in the country.

Our activities in this field have also raised interest of the industry in the search for new approaches to ballast water monitoring. This is the scope of the SAMBA project, funded by Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company. Another example of a fruitful interaction with the oil and gas industry is the Peregrino project funded by the Norwegian company Statoil, which has opened a unique opportunity to establish a benthic observatory off Rio de Janeiro coast. At LAPS we are in charge of acoustical, optical and particle imaging analysis derived from sensors and sediment traps deployed at Statoil's Peregrino field. This will provide relevant information for the management of drill cuttings during the exploration phase.

Within the MARFLAT/FLOATING project, our studies have revealed that potentially harmful dinoflagellates and diatoms occur around existing mariculture facilities on the northern coast of São Paulo, still at low concentrations. Such observation reinforces the need for a permanent monitoring program in the area, particularly in case mussel farms off São Paulo are to become as extensive as in south Brazil, where harmful algal blooms are a recurrent cause for bringing mussel trading to a halt.

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Title Published Date
Outreach 18 April 2011