Training Workshop Supports African and South American Countries’ Efforts to Manage HAB Toxins
A National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS)-led workshop held in Namibia and sponsored by the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency as part of its ‘Atoms for Peace’ initiative provided an international group of coastal managers with training on a nuclear-based technology for detecting domoic acid (DA).
During the weeklong workshop in December 2009, participants from South Africa, Namibia, Tunisia, Tanzania, Kenya, and El Salvador received hands-on instruction for an innovative, NCCOS-developed technology permitting rapid detection of DA at low concentrations in both contaminated shellfish and toxic algae.
The ability of our international partners to expand domestic and export markets for wild and farmed shellfish requires the effective management of HAB toxins to protect public health. A key requirement for HAB monitoring programs is the availability of rapid, sensitive, and reliable toxin detection methods such as that developed for DA.
International transfer of NCCOS-developed technology strengthens the monitoring capabilities of coastal managers and enhances the ability of our partners to protect public health while realizing the economic benefits of expanding shellfish harvests.