You are here: Home / News /

News and Features by Region Alaska Archives - News and Features

Native Alaskans Trained in Potentially Life-saving Toxin Monitoring

Recent analyses conducted by the Sitka Tribe of Alaska Environmental Research Laboratory (STAERL) identified lethal levels of algal-produced toxin-like activity in shellfish from two Southeast Alaska sites in late May. Blue mussels, cockles, and butter clams were found to contain up to 46 times the regulatory limit for saxitoxins. Results from testing were shared with […]

Continue reading

HAB Study Confirms Alexandrium in Alaska, Develops Global Test Method

In an effort to provide forecasting and detection products that empower communities to take action on HAB issues, a new publication in Phycologia documents the presence of Alexandrium fundyense and A. ostenfeldii in Alaska and describes the development of quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays for these species.  This is the first large-scale confirmation of Alexandrium species in Alaska, which are responsible for causing paralytic […]

Continue reading

Stakeholders Meet to Develop Harmful Algal Bloom Action Plan for Alaska

Alaska Sea Grant and the Alaska Ocean Observing System recently cosponsored a two-day workshop to develop an action plan for harmful algal bloom (HAB) monitoring, event response, outreach, and research in Alaska. NCCOS staff opened the workshop by providing a national perspective on HABs that set the stage for discussions of existing activities and identified […]

Continue reading

Southeast Alaska Tribes Trained in Minimizing Risk of Shellfish Toxins

NCCOS scientists instructed environmental personnel from the southeast Alaska tribes in toxic phytoplankton sampling and identification techniques during the Fourth Workshop of the Southeast Alaska Tribal Toxins (SEATT) Partnership in Sitka, Alaska. The NCCOS Phytoplankton Monitoring Network developed these techniques. Also at the workshop, NCCOS scientists provided technical and program development guidance to the Sitka Tribe […]

Continue reading

Producing a new Reference Material for Paralytic Shellfish Toxin Monitoring

Saxitoxins, produced by species of harmful algal blooms (HABs), cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) when contaminated seafood is consumed. For nearly 50 years the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has provided a saxitoxin dihydrochloride standard to state shellfish laboratories and others who monitor seafood safety, and has distributed it as a National Institutes of Standards […]

Continue reading

New Species of Marine Sponge Discovered in Gulf of Alaska

NOAA scientists and their partners came across an unknown marine sponge last summer while conducting a survey of continental shelf features off the coast of southeastern Alaska. Using a remotely operated vehicle, the team collected a rock for geological analyses that contained numerous marine invertebrates—including an unidentified, yellow-orange, encrusting demosponge. Enrique Salgado, a coral biologist […]

Continue reading

NCCOS Provides Training to a Centralized Algal Toxin Testing Laboratory for Southeast Alaskan Tribes

NCCOS scientists provided training and technical guidance to scientific staff of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska Environmental Regulatory Laboratory (STAERL) on the extraction and detection of Paralytic Shellfish Toxins (PST). The NCCOS-developed receptor binding assay being taught, an Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) accepted method, can help secure the food supply against these potent toxins. […]

Continue reading

West Coast Harmful Algal Bloom Draws Attention of Congress

An ongoing toxic algal bloom off the U.S. West Coast was first detected in California in May 2015 and soon stretched to Alaska. Formed by the harmful algae Psuedo-nitzschia, this unusually long-lasting bloom is the largest bloom in the past 15 years. Record-setting concentrations of domoic acid, the neurotoxin produced by the bloom, have shut […]

Continue reading