The new research effort expands past studies in the Gulf of Maine and builds on data collected during the historic 2005 red tide, which led to closure of both nearshore shellfish beds and offshore beds in federal waters out to Georges Bank. The toxicity also extended for the first time to the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
The Gulf of Maine (GoM) and its adjacent southern New England shelf is a vast region with extensive shellfish resources, large portions of which are frequently contaminated with paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins produced by the dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense. The 2005 outbreak caused millions of dollars in economic damage, but monitoring programs and cooperation among federal, state and local officials, scientists, and shellfishermen prevented any reported cases of illness from people eating contaminated shellfish.
“As a result of the 2005 bloom and the closures in federal waters offshore and on the Cape and Islands, we realized we needed to expand efforts and develop a full, regional-scale understanding of Alexandrium fundyense blooms,” lead investigator Don Anderson of WHOI said. “We don’t understand the linkages between bloom dynamics and toxicity in waters near shore versus the offshore, nor do we know how toxicity is delivered to the shellfish in those offshore waters. An additional challenge is the need to expand modeling and forecasting capabilities to include the entire region, and to transition these tools to operational and management use.”
Anderson said the information and new technologies gained from the project will help managers, regulators and the shellfish industry to fully utilize and effectively manage both nearshore and offshore shellfish resources, and could lead to harvesting of the offshore surfclam and ocean quahog beds on Georges Bank and Nantucket Shoals, which have an estimated potential value of more than $50 million a year. The program should also provide information crucial to the development of a roe-on scallop industry in those waters - a product which is presently restricted because of toxin that accumulates in the roe.
GOMTOX will utilize a combination of large-and small-scale survey cruises, autonomous gliders, moored instruments and traps, drifters, satellite imagery and numerical models. Researchers will incorporate field observations into a suite of numerical models of the region for hindcasting and forecasting applications for both near shore and offshore shellfish resources.
In addition to WHOI researchers, scientists participating in GOMTOX represent Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans, NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, the Canadian National Research Council, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, University of Maine, University of Massachusetts, and the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
“We will be working closely with federal, state and local officials, resource managers and shellfishermen to synthesize results and disseminate the information and technology,” Anderson said. “Our ultimate goal is to transition scientific and management tools to the regulatory community for operational use. This project covers the entire Gulf fo Maine, including the Bay of Fundy, so there are many affected user groups, communities, and industries who stand to benefit.”
Shelley Dawicki | EurekAlert!
Value from wastewater
16.08.2017 | Hochschule Landshut
Species Richness – a false friend? Scientists want to improve biodiversity assessments
01.08.2017 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences