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Research Paper Documents History, Impacts of West Coast Harmful Algae Species

A recent research paper presents the state-of-knowledge on harmful algae along the west coast of North America. Along the Pacific coast of North America, from Alaska to Mexico, harmful algal blooms (HABs) are responsible for losses to natural resources and coastal economies, and have sickened and killed humans and animals for decades. Recent reports indicate […]

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New Algal Threat to Puget Shellfish Eaters Draws Event Response Funding

The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science provided funds so that the state of Washington’s Department of Health, the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center HAB Program, and the  SoundToxins partnership can analyze diarretic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins in shellfish and monitor for Dinophysis, the dinoflagellate that produces the toxins. In 2011 three people became ill with DSP […]

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Toxic Algae Not New to Puget Sound, Favor Rising Temperatures

University and NOAA investigators have found seed-like cysts of the toxic alga Alexandrium at all depths in a sediment core taken from Sequim Bay in Puget Sound. The depths in which they found the seeds indicate Alexandrium dates back to the late 1800’s. Correlations between cyst abundance, sea surface temperature, air temperature, and, for a shorter […]

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Puget Sound Toxic Algae Forecast Moves Closer to Reality

On May 31, investigators funded by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science released the second annual map of Alexandrium catenella cysts in bottom sediments throughout Puget Sound in the state of Washington. They found that the highest cyst concentrations at Bellingham Bay in the north and Quartermaster Harbor in the south, similar to 2011. This year’s cyst abundance in the […]

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Research Promotes Method to Slow the Spread of Encrusting Invasive Species

Dredging channels and cleaning boat hulls or fishing gear in or near established Didemnum colonies can create fragments of these invasive organisms that survive in the water column up to four weeks, disperse long distances, and even reproduce before resettling, possibly in new areas, according to NOAA research. The article suggests that cleaning equipment on land and reducing bottom disturbance […]

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New Test Identifies Low Level Toxin Exposure to Protect Human Health

A NCCOS Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB)-funded study at the University of Washington and the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service laboratory in Seattle has developed a unique and convenient way to detect very low levels of exposure to the harmful algal toxin domoic acid in laboratory zebrafish and in wild California Sea lions. […]

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NOAA and Partner Scientists Discover Way to Detect Low-level Exposure to Seafood Toxin in marine animals

NOAA scientists and their colleagues have discovered a biological marker in the blood of laboratory zebrafish and marine mammals that shows when they have been repeatedly exposed to low levels of domoic acid, which is potentially toxic at high levels. While little is known about how low-level exposure to domoic acid affects marine animals or […]

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