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Alaskan Public Health Officials Receive NOAA Toxin Resource Support

Published on: 05/31/2011
Region(s) of Study: Foreign Countries

NOAA and University of Alaska scientists are monitoring levels of harmful algae near Juneau and Ketchikan and plan to track toxin levels in the area with biochemical tests.

An outbreak of paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) that began last week led to the hospitalization of someone who ate clams dug from a public beach. To respond to this event, NOAA's test results are being shared with commercial shellfish farmers, state regulators, and public health officials.

Algal bloom experts throughout the agency are providing advice and testing methodologies for immediate use, but the state may consider bloom landfall predictions and other tools in order to target warnings effectively.

Alaska does not have a PSP testing program for recreational or subsistence harvested shellfish. Commercially grown shellfish, however, is tested and considered safe.

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