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Enhanced Monitoring Saved Puget Sound Net Pen Salmon Threatened by Extreme Harmful Algal Bloom

In June, the straits, bays and islands of Puget Sound experienced some of the most extensive harmful algal blooms (HABs) in recent memory, including at least five potential toxin producers. Blooms of Heterosigma akashiwo, which causes massive fish kills, were widespread and threatened the salmon net pen mariculture industry. Enhanced HAB monitoring in the area led […]

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Origins of Harmful Alga Scourge in Pacific Northwest Confirmed

Researchers have identified the oceanographic causes and routes for the harmful alga Pseudo-nitzschia in offshore waters of the Pacific Northwest. The team’s validated model shows that toxic Pseudo-nitzschia cells arrive at the coast, not from a single source (as previously thought), but from two sources, one north and one south of Washington’s beaches. The northern source […]

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Climate-based Integrated Ecosystem Assessments for Ocean Resource Management

A special issue of the journal Oceanography published in March highlights a number of accomplishments and findings of the U.S. component of the Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics (GLOBEC) program. For over 20 years, this multidisciplinary research program initiated by the United Nations conducted research in the U.S. and around the world, focusing on the potential […]

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NCCOS-developed Method for Toxins Detection Approved for Regulatory Testing of Shellfish in the U.S

Earlier this year, the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) approved a new assay developed by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) as an official method for identifying toxicity that could result in paralytic shellfish poisoning. This approval is the culmination of more than a decade of effort to find an alternative to live animal […]

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NCCOS Expertise Contributes to U.S. National Climate Assessment

Four NCCOS scientists wrote a NOAA technical report on “Oceans and Marine Resources in a Changing Climate” that led to a chapter in the Third National Climate Assessment (2013), produced by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Carol Auer, Quay Dortch, Elizabeth Jewett, and Cary Lopez participated in this comprehensive review, wherein 63 experts examined […]

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NCCOS Transfers Toxin Detection Method to Maine Start-Up Company to Provide Testing of Paralytic Shellfish Toxins

Scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) provided training on the NCCOS-developed receptor binding assay (RBA) for paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins to visiting scientist Darcie Couture, Lead Scientist from Resource Access International, LLC (RAI LLC) in Brunswick, Maine. The RBA for PSP toxins is a rapid, cost-effective test that measures algal […]

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NCCOS-funded Science in Washington State Seeks to Better Understand Linkages Between HAB Cysts, Shellfish Toxicity, and Threshold for HABs

In March, the Puget Sound Alexandrium Harmful Algal Bloom (PS-AHAB) Project (funded by The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science‘s Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) Program) issued the 2013 preliminary Alexandrium cyst map. This is part of PS-AHAB’s “just-in-time” information dissemination program to Puget Sound stakeholders to increase early warning capabilities for HAB events. Highest cyst […]

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West Coast Harmful Algal Bloom Observing System Design Paper Published

A recently published research paper describes the minimum requirements for an effective harmful algal bloom (HAB) observing system for the U.S. west coast to mitigate HAB impacts.  HAB observing systems provide early warning and forecasting of HAB events to guide decisions to close shellfish harvesting to protect human health, avoid mortality of protected species, and encourage aquaculture […]

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