An event characterized by sudden increase in phytoplankton population, in the sea or aqueous environment, is often designated by different Spanish terms that attempt to describe the nature, aspect, characteristics, and/or properties of such phenomena. In this communication, we discuss the convenience of reaching an agreement among the Spanish-speaking scientific community to use a simple Spanish term that could be much more informative and accurate when referring to Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), in general. Summarizing the different Spanish terms historically employed to describe the proliferation of noxious phytoplankton in the sea, we propose “Proliferación Microalgal Nociva” (PMN = HAB) as a term that, on the basis of its etymological meaning could be considered correct. Its use could help to avoid the prevailing confusion in our language caused by different misleading terms now employed when referring to a Harmful Algal Bloom event.

Keywords: harmful algal blooms, microalgae, phytoplankton, proliferation, red tides