SoundToxins: A Research and Monitoring Partnership for Harmful Phytoplankton in Washington State
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SoundToxins: A Research and Monitoring Partnership for Harmful Phytoplankton in Washington State

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    The more frequent occurrence of marine harmful algal blooms (HABs) and recent problems with newly-described toxins in Puget Sound have increased the risk for illness and have negatively impacted sustainable access to shellfish in Washington State. Marine toxins that affect safe shellfish harvest because of their impact on human health are the saxitoxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), domoic acid that causes amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP), diarrhetic shellfish toxins that cause diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) and the recent measurement of azaspiracids, known to cause azaspiracid poisoning (AZP), at low concentrations in Puget Sound shellfish. The flagellate, Heterosigma akashiwo, impacts the health and harvestability of aquacultured and wild salmon in Puget Sound. The more recently described flagellates that cause the illness or death of cultivated and wild shellfish, include Protoceratium reticulatum, known to produce yessotoxins, Akashiwo sanguinea and Phaeocystis globosa. This increased incidence of HABs, especially dinoflagellate HABs that are expected in increase with enhanced stratification linked to climate change, has necessitated the partnership of state regulatory programs with SoundToxins, the research, monitoring and early warning program for HABs in Puget Sound, that allows shellfish growers, Native tribes, environmental learning centers and citizens, to be the “eyes on the coast”. This partnership enables safe harvest of wholesome seafood for consumption in the region and helps to describe unusual events that impact the health of oceans, wildlife and humans.
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    Toxins, 15(3), 189
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    CC BY
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