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NOAA Weather Radio Warns Alaskan Shellfish Gatherers to Avoid Toxic Harvest

From April 10-12, 2012, Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services reported three suspected cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning caused by blooms of the harmful alga Alexandrium. All three individuals ate shellfish harvested in the Juneau area that weekend. The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science quickly connected the state health department with NOAA’s Weather Service in Alaska […]

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Partnerships: Bringing Scientists and Resource Managers Together to Explore Opportunities for Using Fisheries Acoustics in the Southeast US

Underwater acoustics for mapping the water column Underwater acoustics (ie. fisheries sonars) uses sound to detect and map the presence of fish and other organisms in the water column.  An acoustic signal or ping is sent into the water column from an transducer.  The strength of the return signal is measured and is correlated to […]

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Pacific Northwest HAB Project Helps Predict Japanese Tsunami Debris Paths

Where, how and why harmful algal blooms occur off coastal Washington and Oregon and predicting their arrival on coastal beaches is the goal of the NCCOS sponsored harmful algal bloom (HAB) project “PNWTOX” (Pacific Northwest Toxins).   A PNWTOX model developed for HABs is being put to use to help forecast the movement of the debris field […]

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Cold, but fun! NCCOS builds marine research capacity by training scientific divers

Fourteen divers were trained in basic and advanced scientific diving techniques at the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Kasitsna Bay Laboratory from 10-17 March 2012 in a class run by the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  Diving is a key tool for near-shore marine research and the Kasitsna Bay Laboratory course provides hands-on training in […]

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NCCOS scientists partnering with Alaska Native communities to understand losses of shellfish

Alaska is often considered to be a pristine environment, but local and regional depletions of nearshore coastal shellfish and other invertebrate species are being observed in places like Kachemak Bay. Local tribal communities are particularly concerned about depletions of the clam, crab, cockle and chiton species they have traditionally harvested. National Centers for Coastal Ocean […]

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Kachemak Bay Marine Science Conference: Healthy Bays = Vibrant Alaska Communities

The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science’s (NCCOS) Kasitsna Bay Laboratory helped organize and participated in the 2012 Kachemak Bay Marine Science Conference, held on March 8-10, 2012 in Homer, Alaska. The multidisciplinary conference focused on how the health and diversity of coastal resources in Kachemak Bay are critical for resilience in both natural and […]

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New Tool for Identifying Harmful Algae in Alaska

A quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay has been developed for the dominant HAB species that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning in Alaskan waters. This assay provides positive identification of Alexandrium fundyense and quantifies the number of cells in field samples. The significance of this assay is that qPCRs can be incorporated into monitoring programs to detect toxic […]

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Mystery of Alaskan “Goo” Rust Solved at Last | The Artful Amoeba, Scientific American Blog Network

Last fall the small Alaskan coastal village of Kivalina was inundated by a mysterious orange “goo”(click for photo). Locals and others suspected a toxic algal bloom (see here for image), or perhaps some sort of chemical release, or millions of microscopic “crustacean eggs.” Yet just a month later the mystery substance was identified as none […]

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