Eutrophication and Harmful Algal Bloom in the coastal waters of Southeast Asia (2012-2017)

In this research study, NANO members from five Southeast Asia countries (Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia) investigated eutrophication enhanced by nutrient load and modulated by residence time. As a result of unsustainable human activities and coastal development, water quality is degrading which results in hypoxia, algal blooms and pollution of the coastal environments. Long-term effects of eutrophication are a grave concern, and collecting data on water quality is essential to improve the sustainability of the coastal environment and provide information for decision makers. The study included fieldwork, lab measurements and application of the Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ) approach and/or models such as Delft 3D to estimate the eutrophication status using the Unscaled Trophic Index (UNTRIX) and residence time. In addition, remote sensing data were applied to quantify chlorophyll-a from satellite information where relevant. This provided useful insights that can form the basis to inform stakeholders and give suggestions on how to manage water quality on a local and regional level. Our project also enhanced networking between NANO SEA members and other collaborators.

Participating countries

-Thailand    -Vietnam   -Philippines   -Indonesia   -Malaysia

General objectives

  • Investigate eutrophication in participant countries, possibly enhanced by nutrient load and modulated by residence time in SEA Asia;
  • Introduce environmental monitoring methods for coastal waters to provide useful information for coastal development and management in the participant countries;
  • to provide useful insights that can form the basis for informing stakeholders and give suggestions on how to manage water quality on a local and regional level;
  • Determine the level of eutrophication in each study site and evaluate the application of the LOICZ approach as eutrophication index and of hydrodynamic model (Delft 3D) for estimating water residence time;
  • Strengthen human capacity for environmental management and expand the NANO network in SEA countries by knowledge-transfer;

General achievements

  • Advanced in the understanding the situation of eutrophication and its environmental impacts in coastal seas in South-East Asian countries;
  •  Advanced in the understanding the situation of eutrophication and its environmental impacts in coastal seas in South-East Asian countries;
  • Capacity building in marine researches for many young researchers and students via workshops and trainings;
  • 2-day meeting “Harmful Algae Bloom remote sensing model for SE Asia region” at July 6-7, 2012, in Nha Trang, Vietnam
  • 2-day workshop “the NANO-South-East Asia Meeting for the writing of the NANO-SEA proposal for 2014” to collectively draft a proposal and standardize the methodology and variables to be measured in the subsequent years of the project; in November 19 -20, 2013 in Philippines;
  • Project participants were involved in the training and demonstration of coastal monitoring activities in the NF-POGO AWI-CofE Regional Training Programme on the ‘Detection of HABs in Southeast Asia by Remote Sensing: Operational Warning and Regional Monitoring Protocols’ held between 24 February and 16 March 2014, Pangasinan, Philippines;
  • Annual fieldwork were conducted in Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand in 2013, 2014, 2015 and in Malaysia and Indonesia in 2015;
  • Meeting “LOICZ & eutrophication approaches” to receive training on the LOICZ (Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone) budget approach for determining residence time and measuring eutrophication indices, in Nha Trang, Vietnam, in 20-21 April, 2014;
  • NANO Southeast Asia Planning Meeting 26-27 October 2014, Thailand, to discuss and plan a collaborative regional project  proposal for submission and welcome two new member countries, Malaysia and Indonesia;
  • Meeting in July 23-24, 2015 in Malaysia to review the activities of the present regional research project, to write the project interim report and to discuss about the plan for project completion;
  • 5-day workshop to train project members on the application of Delft 3D-FLOW and to work on writing a collaborative manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, Bangkok, Thailand during 8 – 12 August 2016.

Scientific outputs

Journal Articles

  • Thu, P.M. ; Hieu, N. T. D.; Thao, P. T. P., 2016. Variation of water quality in Nha Trang Bay. Journal of Marine Science and Technology, Vol 16, Issue 2, DOI 10.15625/1859-3097/16/2/7235.
  • Thu, P.M.; Long, B. H., Lang, P. N., 2017. Marine Optical Properties of Seawater in Nha Trang Bay. Journal of Marine Science and Technology, Volume 17, Issue 2, DOI 10.15625/1859-3097/17/2/8388.

Presentations at Scientific Events

  • Thu, P.M., Tien, N. M.; Khang, N.T.H.; Khin, L.V. 2012. Photosynthesis of phytoplankton in the southern marine regions of Vietnam from MODIS data. Proceedings of The GIS-IDEA 2012 conference, 175-180.
  • Khin, L.V.; Thu, P.M.; Son,T.P.H. 2012. Ideas of application remote sensing techniques for algal bloom detection in marine regions of Vietnam. Proceedings of The GIS-IDEA 2012 conference, 157-162.
  • Chen, C.F.; Laul, V.K.; Nguyen, T.S.; Chen,C.R.; Phuoc, H.S.T. 2013. The inherent optical properties of waters in South of Vietnam Coastal. Proceedings of the 34th Asian Conference on Remote Sensing, SC03-337.
  • Son, T.P.H.; Long, B.H.; Khin, L.V.; Thang, H.N.; Chung, T.V.; Trung, P.B. 2013. Seagrass mapping in Thuy Trieu – Cam Ranh Lagoons (Vietnam) by using satellite multi sensors. Proceedings of the 34th Asian Conference on Remote Sensing, SC01-13.
  • Son, T.P.H; Khin, L.V.; Thu, P.M. 2013. The inherent optical properties (IOPs) algorithms for detection the water quality in turbid waters of Mekong . Proceedings of the 34th Asian Conference on Remote Sensing, SC01-6.
  • Thu, P. M., et al., 2017. Eutrophication in the coastal waters of Southeast Asia: A collaborative NANO Regional Research Project. 10th WESTPAC International Scientific Conference: Advancing Ocean Knowledge, fostering sustainable development from the Indo-Pacific to the Globe.

Societal outputs

  • Discussion and dissemination on the negative impact of chemical pollutant on to coral reef beds in Clungup Mangrove Conservation (CMC) park, Malang, east Java, Indonesia” , Jan 2016;
  • Mangrove: First Line of Defense (Getting to the micro creatures), Malaysia, October 2016;
  • Coral Camp 2.0: Familiarization of Coral Taxonomoy for Secondary School Students, Malaysia, Oct 2016;
  • Raising awareness of Coral Bleaching, exhibition at The 5th Marine Science Conference at Bangkok, Thailand, June 2016;
  • Marine Camp # 36 “Sustainable Natural Resources Return Life to the Sea”, Thailand, May 2016

Project contributions to NANO News

NN2 – pp. 6

NN3 – pp.8

NN6 – pp. 4, pp.6

NN7 – pp. 5, pp. 9, pp.10

NN8 – pp. 19

NN9 – pp. 17

NN11 – pp. 12

NN12 – pp. 12

Access all NANO News issues here

Coordinators (period)

Anukul Buranapratheprat (2013-2017)
Arif Seno Adji (2014-2017)
Garry Benico (2012-2017)
Joseph Palermo (2012-2017)
Nurul Aini Kamaruddin (2014-2017)
Phan Minh Thu (2012-2017)
Suriyan Saramul (2014-2017)
Umi Zakiyah (2014-2017)

Advising Scientists

Dr. Aletta Yñiguez, University of Philippines, Philippines
Dr. Gerry Plumley, NF- POGO Centre of Excellence
Dr. Laura David, University of Philippines, Philippines
Dr. Victoria Cheung, POGO
Dr. Vipoosit Manthachitra, Burapha University Thailand


Amor DamatacNFRDPhilippines
Anukul Buranapratheprat
Burapha UniversityThailand
Arif Seno AdjiBurapha UniversityThailand
August DaulatMinistry of Marine Affairs and FisheriesIndonesia
Devi Dwiyanti SuryonoMinistry of Marine Affairs and FisheriesIndonesia
Dhira Kurniawan SaputraBrawijaya UniversityIndonesia
Garry BenicoMSIUPPhilippines
Hoang Cong TinVNIOVietnam
Hoangphi PhungHCMIPVietnam
Irene Alabia
Jariyawadee SuriyaphanBurapha UniversityThailand
Jitraporn Phaksopa
Joseph PalermoMSIUPPhilippines
Kathleen SilvanoPhilippines
Khanittha UthaipanChulalongkorn UniversityThailand
Le Dinh Mau
Malik Sudin AbdulLIPIIndonesia
Margie Rose HermoMSIUPPhilippines
Mary Chris TentiaMSIUPPhilippines
MulyantoBrawijaya UniversityIndonesia
Nguyen Chi CongVNIOVietnam
Nguyen Huu HuanVNIOVietnam
Nguyen Minh HieuVNIOVietnam
Nguyen Thi Kim HoangHCMIPVietnam
Nguyen Trinh Duc HieuVNIOVietnam
Nurul Aini KamaruddinUniSZAMalaysia
Pachoenchoke JintasaeraneeBurapha UniversityThailand
Patrawut ThaipichitburaphaBurapha UniversityThailand
Pham Thi Phuong ThaoVNIOVietnam
Phan Minh ThuVNIOVietnam
Phan Thanh BacVNIOVietnam
Po Teen LimUMMalaysia
Prasarn Intacharoen,Burapha UniversityThailand
Sancho BilogBFAR R1Philippines
Sazlina Md SallehUSMMalaysia
Suriyan SaramulChulalongkorn UniversityThailand
Sutaporn BunyajetpongChulalongkorn UniversityThailand
Teng Sing TungUMASMalaysia
Thai Tieu MinhHCMIPVietnam
Tong P. Hoang Son
Umi ZakiyahBrawijaya UniversityIndonesia
Vichaya GunboaBurapha UniversityThailand
Victoria HilarionBFAR R1Philippines
Vo Duy LongHCMIPVietnam
Willem Merpy TatipattaLIPIIndonesia
Yazid RidlaITBIndonesia

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