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Texas Alerted to Toxic Pseudo-nitzschia Bloom in Galveston Bay

Volunteers with NOAA’s Phytoplankton Monitoring Network have reported a bloom of the diatom, Pseudo-nitzschia in Galveston Bay, Texas, and NOAA’s Analytical Response Team has confirmed that the bloom is producing domoic acid, a neurotoxin that can cause amnesiac shellfish poisoning. State managers of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas Department of State Health […]

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Galveston Bay Closed to Oyster Harvesting After Scientists Detect Toxic Algal Bloom

The Texas Department of State Health Services is temporarily closing all of the Galveston Bay system to the harvesting of oysters, clams, and mussels because of elevated levels of an alga that can produce a toxin in some shellfish. NCCOS-funded scientists at Texas A&M University detected the harmful algal bloom and notified the state agency, […]

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Identifying Origin and Mechanism of Texas Red Tide

A study funded by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science has tentatively identified the source and control mechanism of red tides (Karenia brevis) along the Texas coast. The research, led by Texas A&M University, incorporates a suite of linked models (e.g., biological–physical), combined with data from drifting sensors, satellites, and an automated underwater microscope […]

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New Research Defines Origin and Dynamic Behavior of Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone

Reducing the size of the widespread area of hypoxia (low oxygen) in the northern Gulf of Mexico—known as the “Dead Zone”—represents one of the nation’s crucial water management challenges. Recent NCCOS-sponsored research has led to the development of a new tool to assess hypoxia formation and its response to key physical and biological drivers. Dr. […]

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Common Brevetoxin Metabolite Found in Gulf of Mexico Oysters May Not be a Health Risk

Brevetoxin B2—an abundant shellfish metabolite of brevetoxin found in Gulf of Mexico oysters—does not readily pass through an intestinal barrier, rendering it unlikely to cause neurotoxic shellfish poisoning. The B2 metabolite is produced by oysters and many other animals by attaching the amino acid cysteine to the brevetoxin that is consumed by shellfish during blooms […]

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2013 Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Size Above Average But Not Largest

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science supported scientists have documented that the 2013 “dead zone”(area of hypoxia, or low oxygen) in the northern Gulf of Mexico west of the Mississippi River delta now covers at least 5,800 square miles of sea floor or about the size of the State of Connecticut. This dead zone area […]

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Research Shows Shellfish Metabolism of Red Tide Toxin Can Change the Outcome of Poisoning

As recent as 2012, the State of Texas was impacted by the longest red tide on record, leading to the collapse of its oyster industry and  the Governor to seek disaster assistance from the U. S. Department of Commerce. A new study published in the American Chemical Society journal: Chemical Research in Toxicology shows that in animals the […]

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New Technologies and Platforms Transforming Oceanography

The journal Science recently declared that new technologies are making remote sensing of the ocean a “new wave” of oceanography. This growing array of lower-cost, high-tech instruments–satellites, robotic gliders, moored sensors, underwater observatories–is transforming the discipline of oceanography, possibly reducing the need for expensive research vessels. A new class of automated biological sensors are nearing […]

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