Socioeconomic Impacts of HABs
The demand for seafood as part of a healthy diet, combined with
globalization of trade and tourism, expands the geographic boundaries
for human exposure and subsequent illness as well as those of economic
losses beyond historically affected coastal communities. The economic
and public health impacts of HABs can be profound.
Many millions of dollars are spent annually addressing the known HAB-related impacts on public health, commercial fisheries, recreation, tourism, environmental monitoring, and bloom management. Public health impacts account for the largest economic impacts, followed by commercial fisheries and tourism. Even one HAB can be extremely costly. The hidden costs to secondary industries (e.g. food processing or aquaculture suppliers), human illness (e.g. medical care for undiagnosed or chronic illnesses), and decline in consumer confidence (e.g. failure to purchase seafood in restaurants or reserve fishing charter trips) remain unknown.
Last updated: July 31, 2012