At the request of stakeholders in the Northeast U.S., NCCOS and the National Weather Service Ocean Prediction Center hosted a webinar last month to demonstrate the suite of modeled guidance products the NOAA Ecological Forecasting (EF) Pathogens Team and partners have developed for assessing risk of Vibrio exposure.
Vibrio species are naturally occurring bacteria that cause human illness ranging from mild gastroenteritis to severe skin lesions and death. In recent years, the Northeast U.S. has experienced outbreaks of Vibrio illness associated with the consumption of raw shellfish resulting in shellfish bed closures and economic loss. State shellfish managers have since engaged NOAA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop predictive tools for Vibrio in shellfish and to incorporate such tools in management actions.
Approximately 20 representatives from state agencies, the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association, academia, and FDA participated in the webinar. Participants were guided through the NCCOS Vibrio ecological forecasting webpage, with each product provided on the site demonstrated. The webinar also provided an informal way for NOAA EF Pathogens Team members to obtain user feedback. A second webinar is planned for stakeholders in the Pacific Northwest this spring.
For more information, contact John.Jacobs@noaa.gov.