Survey Results Prompt NOAA Warning to Fisherman near Georges Bank (July 2007)
As part of an NCCOS research cruise in the Gulf of Maine, surveyors aboard the R/V Endeavor in May and June found a significant harmful algal bloom of Alexandrium fundyense in the vicinity of Georges Bank. Abundance of this algae, also known as New England Red Tide, was greater than 1000 cells per liter in some locations, greatly exceeding the regulatory threshold the state uses to close shellfish beds.
These results coincided with the issuance of a Federal Register Notice and letter to Federal permit holders extending the closure of commercial shellfish harvesting in Federal waters and led to a NOAA Fisheries Service warning to fishermen not to eat shellfish taken as bycatch in the Georges Bank area to protect humans from paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP).
Inshore shellfish beds in some areas of Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire are still closed due to this year