NOAA Technology Provides Regulatory Method to Safeguard Fisheries and Promote International Trade
On December 15, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) signed an agreement to use a NOAA-developed technology which harnesses isotopes to assure algal toxins are below regulatory limits. The agreement formalizes a decade of collaboration with NOAA for regional studies in Asian, African and Latin American member states. Blooms of certain algae can release toxins detrimental to fisheries, human health, and international trade.
The NOAA technology, in the final stages of adoption as an official method for regulatory testing, simplifies the current method that requires injecting shellfish fluids into mice and timing how long it takes for them to die. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working with NOAA to support this effort.
Transferring this technology strengthens the monitoring capabilities of coastal managers around the world to protect public health while realizing the economic benefits of expanding shellfish harvests.
Also see the IAEA press release.