Seafood Advisory Due to Harmful Algal Bloom

By Wilson44691 at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
On June 1 the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a Health Advisory due to elevated levels of domoic acid in the Santa Cruz and Monterey region. This advisory warns consumers not to eat recreationally harvested mussels and clams, commercially or recreationally caught anchovy and sardines, or the internal organs of commercially or recreationally caught crab taken from Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. 
 
Dangerous levels of domoic acid have been detected in some of these species and are also likely to be present in the other species. Molluscan bivalve shellfish, anchovy and sardines are especially of concern because the toxin resides in their digestive tract and these seafood products are normally not eviscerated prior to consumption. 

CDPH is continuing to collect a variety of molluscan bivalve shellfish, fin fish and crab samples from the area to monitor the level of domoic acid.

This warning does not apply to commercially sold clams, mussels, scallops or oysters from approved sources. State law permits only state-certified commercial shellfish harvesters or dealers to sell these products. Shellfish sold by certified harvesters and dealers are subject to frequent mandatory testing to monitor for toxins. 

View Advisory
To receive updated information about shellfish poisoning and quarantines, call CDPH’s toll-free “Shellfish Information Line” at (800) 553-4133. For additional information visit CDPH’s Biotoxin Monitoring web page

CeNCOOS supports the monitoring of potentially toxic algal species at three sites (2 of which are in the Monterey Bay region) and the analysis of collected samples.  These activities directly contribute to the CDPH's biotoxin monitoring program.  You can find out more on CeNCOOS's work in this area on our Algal Blooms page, which also includes information on our joint project with UCSC researches to forecast harmful algal blooms.