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Toxins Detection Workshop Promotes International Trade of Shellfish

NCCOS scientist Tina Mikulski recently led a workshop in Muscat, Oman, on the detection of paralytic shellfish toxins—which can accumulate in shellfish, causing human illness and death. Shellfish must be screened for these toxins (produced by harmful algae in the genus Alexandrium) prior to sale and consumption. The workshop was designed through a formal agreement between […]

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Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Seeks Advice on Harmful Algal Bloom Threat

Five NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries on the west coast are vulnerable to harmful algal blooms, including blooms of Pseudo-nitzschia, which at times produce domoic acid—a potent neurotoxin that can accumulate in many animals. Consumption of toxic prey leads to illness and death in a variety of birds and marine mammals and necessitates shellfish harvesting closures […]

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Lecture Informs Public of Long Island’s Coastal Ills, Solutions

NCCOS-funded researcher Dr. Christopher Gobler and his students recently reported on the nearly complete collapse of hard clam fisheries in Great South Bay and bay scallop fisheries off the East End of Long Island due to annually occurring harmful algal blooms, hypoxia, and acidification. The team discovered excess nitrogen entering groundwater from septic tanks and […]

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High-tech Armada Links Toxic Algal Blooms and Nutrients from Sewage off Southern California

Last month, NCCOS-funded scientists deployed two Environmental Sample Processors, two research vessels, five autonomous underwater vehicles, and five drifters in the ocean around San Pedro Bay, off Southern California, seeking signs of harmful algal blooms (HABs). Not long after deployment, this high-tech armada detected a large phytoplankton bloom that included the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia and its […]

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NOAA Harmful Algae Research Featured at Interstate Seafood Seminar

NCCOS’s Dr. Quay Dortch was a featured speaker at the 66th Interstate Seafood Seminar conference during a session devoted to harmful algal blooms (HABs) and their impacts on shellfish safety and shellfish production. Dortch discussed NOAA’s HAB programs and how they enhance state rapid response and build a national capacity to minimize HAB impacts. She also […]

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NOAA Teams with NIST to Transfer HAB Detection Methods to Portugal’s Marine Animal Rehabilitation Centre

NOAA’s harmful algal bloom Analytical Response Team has teamed with Hollings Marine Lab partner, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to provide training for a NIST International Fellow on algal toxin detection in marine wildlife. Dr. Rute Costa of the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Figueira da Foz, Portugal, is nearing completion of this […]

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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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Forensic Genomics Used to Identify Causes of Ocean Mass Mortality Events

Fish and invertebrate mass mortality events are increasing in coastal zones worldwide, but in many cases it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of death. Toxic spills, hypoxia (low dissolved oxygen), disease outbreaks, and toxin-producing harmful algal blooms possibly cause these events, but it is critical from a management and response perspective to accurately […]

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