Fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) is a powerful molecular biological tool to detect and enumerate harmful microorganism in the marine environment. Different FISH methods are available, and especially in combination with automated counting techniques, the po- tential for a routine monitoring of harmful marine micro- algae is attainable. Various oligonucleotide probes are developed for detecting harmful microalgae. However, FISH-based methods are not yet regularly included in mon- itoring programmes tracking the presence of harmful marine microalgae. A limitation factor of the FISH technique is the currently available number of suited fluorochromes attached to the FISH probes to detect various harmful species in one environmental sample at a time. However, coupled automated techniques, like flow cytometry or solid-phase cytometry, can facilitate the analysis of nu- merous field samples and help to overcome this draw- back. A great benefit of FISH in contrast to other molecular biological detection methods for harmful ma- rine microalgae is the direct visualisation of the hybridised target cells, which are not permitted in cell free formats, like DNA depending analysis methods. Therefore, an additional validation of the FISH-generated results is simultaneously given.