Read the media release regarding an outbreak of paralytic shellfish toxin along Tasmania’s east coast in 2015.
Prepare the following information in a powerpoint presentation 11 sclide each to give to the Acting Director of Public Health, which explains the context of the current outbreak and likely future environmental patterns. Below each slide there is room to write a script which is useful to guide your plan and delivery, please use this space even to store your references. Though it wont be marked it will guide your assessment but provides clarity to the marker.
• What are the toxicokinetics of paralytic shellfish toxin?
• What are the toxicodynamics of paralytic shellfish toxin?
• What is a surveillance system and what are the types of surveillance in environmental health?
• What surveillance system is in place in Tasmania for paralytic shellfish toxin?
• What are the ecological drivers of this outbreak?
• How is climate change likely to impact the incidence of future similar events?
The Outbreak of Paralytic Shellfish Toxin along Tasmania’s East Coast
Following the 2015 media release of the paralytic shellfish outbreak along Tasmania’s east coast, different researchers embarked on studying the phenomena. To engage in the analysis of this research, we must first know what paralytic shellfish toxin is. Paralytic shellfish toxin (PSP) is a marine biotoxin that appears naturally through its production from a specific species of microscopic algae. The toxin has paralytic abilities that could paralyze muscles in the nervous system, hence paralytic shellfish poison. The poison could lead to death if concentrated in high levels, thus prompting ecological research on the poison.
What is Ecology?
Ecology is the scientific study of interactions between organisms and their environment (Haenn, Harnish & Wilk 2020). You should note that it is the science that seeks to describe and explain the relationship between living organisms and their environment. An excellent example of ecology is the food chain in wet areas. You should also know that an ecosystem is a level of ecology that represents the environment in which living and non-living things interact.
Factors Influencing an Ecosystem
1. Anthropogenic pressure- related to pressure caused by the human in the environment.
2. Eutrophication- is the abundance of nutrients in water bodies leading to the rapid growth of aqua plants.
3. Ocean Warming- rise in water temperature caused by sunlight
The change in event is known to be one of the most important factors in the outbreak of paralytic shellfish toxin (Band-Schmidt et al. 2015). The change in the climate has a greater influence on the outbreak of paralytic shellfish toxin in both positive and negative manner (Kadiri & Isagba 2018).
Ecological Drivers of the Outbreak
Climate change and other anthropogenic drivers of biodiversity change are unequally distributed across the world. Overlaps in the distributions of different drivers have important implications for biodiversity change attribution to a potential outbreak. Also, erosion of shores, sand mining, over-exploitation, and water pollution can alter the ecosystem and degrade habitats.
To understand the ecological drivers of the outbreak, you should know that for at least 10,000 years, Tasmania has been isolated from the Australian mainland, habiting a variety of plants and animals.
Long-term Effects of Climate Change
The effects of climatic change can be adverse and even lead to global warming; the following are examples of the long-term impacts on climatic change;
• Increase heatwaves and bushfire.
• Rise of sea level decrease in sea ice
To understand these effects, note that human beings are the number one agents who cause global warming due to their numerous burning fossils, deforestation, and pollution.
Over some time, the climate worldwide (including Australia’s climate) has been changing. It will continue to change due to a high concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Possible Solutions for Climate Change in Australia
We all must agree that climate change is each individual’s problem. You should note that no government, agency, or scientist can fix it alone. Therefore, we must change the lifestyles that we lead to:
• achieve a net-zero carbon emission by 2050 in Australia.
• limit global warming
• achieving 100% renewable energy by 2050
• achieving 100% renewable electricity before 2035
We observe that industrialization increase and increase in tree-cutting has led to a high rate of global warming in Australia and its environments, which is the primary cause of paralytic shellfish toxin (Edwards, Wilson & Veitch, 2018).
Precisely, Ecology makes the balance of nature and environment. Human beings are an integral part of ecological systems and depend on the environment for their survival and quality of life. Global warming increases the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere. Average weather may include average temperature, precipitation, and wind patterns, contributing to natural disasters in Australia. Long-term effects of climate change will consist of a decrease in sea ice and an increase in permafrost thawing, heat waves, and heavy precipitation. The magnitude of warming will depend on how societies will live in the future, which indicates that Australia is heading for a much warmer future.
Haenn, N., Harnish, A., & Wilk, R. (Eds.). (2020). The environment in anthropology a reader in ecology, culture, and sustainable living. New York University Press.
Rani, S., Jeon, W. J., Koh, H. W., Kim, Y. E., Kang, M. S., & Park, S. J. (2017). Genomic potential of Marinobacter salinus Hb8T as sulfur oxidizing and aromatic hydrocarbon degrading bacterium. Marine Genomics, 34, 19-21.
Kadiri, M. O., & Isagba, S. (2018). Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP) and Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) in Nigerian Coast, Gulf of Guinea. Frontiers in Marine Science, 5, 481.
Edwards, L. J., Wilson, K., & Veitch, M. G. (2018). An outbreak of paralytic shellfish poisoning in Tasmania. Communicable diseases intelligence (2018), 42, S2209-6051.