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NOAA Funds Response to Toxic Algae Bloom in Gulf of Maine

As a first-ever precautionary response to an unprecedented bloom of the toxic alga Pseudo-nitzschia in its waters, Maine officials have temporarily banned shellfish harvesting along part of the coast.  A survey cruise and a volunteer monitoring network, both funded by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, identified the bloom species and mapped where and how big […]

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NOAA Helps Improve Alaskan Biotoxin Testing Program

A series of workshops were held April 25-27, 2012 in Sitka, Alaska to inform shellfish growers, high school teachers and representatives of the Sitka Tribe for the purpose of  expanding the existing Alaska Harmful Algal Bloom Partnership.  The partnership is a collaborative project with the NOAA Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN), NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center, […]

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Workshop Expands Greater Proactive Response to HAB Events in Alaska

Historically, Kodiak Island has not routinely monitored for HABs but has the greatest number of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) cases in the United States. PSP is caused by the algae Alexandrium and is potentially fatal to humans. The NCCOS Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN) partnered with the Kodiak Island Borough School District, Kodiak Island remote community […]

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Scientists Confirm Toxicity of Dinophysis Bloom in Corpus Christi Bay

Volunteers of the Phytoplankton Monitoring Network, working in conjunction with Texas Parks and Wildlife, recently discovered a developing bloom of toxic algal species. Both groups have been monitoring the bloom abundance for the past two weeks along Corpus Christi Bay, Texas. Samples sent to the NCCOS Analytical Response Team were identified as Dinophysis ovum, the […]

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Alaska to Use NCCOS Designed Phytoplankton Monitoring for Proactive Response to Red Tide Events

Twenty-one cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) were confirmed during a spring 2011 red tide event along the coast of Alaska. The number of cases could have easily been much higher. Shellfish farmers and harvesters volunteering as phytoplankton monitors identified the harmful algal species Alexandrium during their bi-weekly plankton net tow and sample analysis. Their […]

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Alaska Toxic Algae Event Endangers Public Health

In Alaska, scientists supported by NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science are monitoring a massive and unusual outbreak of the toxic alga Alexandrium and its related potent toxin that can accumulate in shellfish. When toxic shellfish are consumed they can cause a severe and sometimes deadly human illness called paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). To […]

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Early Warning of Texas HAB Protects Public Health

NCCOS-funded researchers and the NCCOS-sponsored Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN) detected increasing numbers of Dinophysis, a toxic dinoflagellate, in Texas coastal waters, prompting the Department of State Health Services to temporarily close many areas to shellfish harvesting. Dinophysis produces a suite of toxins that accumulate in shellfish and cause severe gastric distress (Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning or […]

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New iPhone App Assists Identification of Harmful Algal Species

A volunteer from the NOAA Phytoplankton Monitoring Network’s Texas Master Naturalist group, in collaboration with National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) scientists, developed an iPhone application to assist marine phytoplankton and harmful algae identification.  This “app” includes images from an NCCOS gallery of common phytoplankton and recordings of a staff scientist’s pronunciation of each […]

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