Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Science

First Advisor

Waleed Hamza

Second Advisor

Dr. Ibrahim Belal

Third Advisor

Dr. Riccardo di Bernardi


During last few years, the frequency of Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) has increased worldwide. The occurrence of HAB in the Gulf region has only recently been recorded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Specifically, these occurrences have not been thoroughly investigated. This phenomena, was found to be associated with the increase in nutrient load, depletion of oxygen and a significant decrease in fish populations that is caused by a bloom of a certain phytoplankton species, results in economic and social problems. Therefore, the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) has decided to conduct a study on different aspects of this phenomenon of which this thesis is part of.

The purpose of this study is to address the following points:

  1. Comparison of the environmental parameters in different stations along Abu Dhabi Marine Costal areas
  2. Studying phytoplankton composition in two different stations known as fish kill phenomenon
  3. Isolation and Identification of phytoplankton cells known to be harmful
  4. Identification of common algal species and Harmful Algal Blooms in Abu Dhabi waters
  5. Identification of factors responsible for bloom formation

Five stations were chosen along the coastal area of Abu Dhabi Emirate according to the environmental impacts they are recovering due to human activities. Water samples were collected at depths 0, 5 and 10 meters respectively. Nutrient analysis have took place with sea water samples beside measuring temperature, oxygen concentration, salinity and chlorophyll a. Nutrient analysis has taken place with sea water samples in conjunction with/in union with measuring temperature, oxygen concentration, salinity and chlorophyll a. Phytoplankton cells were collected using a net of pore size 10µm and have been identified. Sediment samples were collected using a Grab sampler. These samples were used for cyst identification.

The results showed that many harmful species were introduced in the waters of Abu Dhabi and that many of the identified cyst species did not appear in the phytoplankton community. Moreover the fish kill station where blooms occurred indicated that the circulation of water is very slow. The reason is due to of the enclosed channel and the introduction of nutrient from the industries located along.

The present study suggested carrying out, a strategic on this phenomenon and the harmful species that have been introduced to the area through the transportation of ballast water from the tankers of oil importing industrialized nations fleets to our waters. Another reason could be due to the increase of the human activities along the coasts. All the above reasons and others could lead to adverse consequences of this phenomenon.