Cyst Maps

2013 preliminary Alexandrium cyst map

The map below shows the preliminary counts of Alexandrium cysts from a survey conducted in January and February 2013. Highest cyst concentrations were again found in Quartermaster Harbor in the south, and at levels similar to those observed in 2012. Liberty Bay and Bellingham Bay also had cyst concentrations; however, the levels observed in 2013 at Bellingham Bay are a factor of five fewer than those observed in 2012. 

While final counts are yet to be conducted, we share this information now in the spring of 2013 as part of PS-AHAB's "just-in-time" information dissemination program to stakeholders to increase early warning capabilities for toxic bloom events. In fact, this year we began processing samples on board the research vessel which allowed us to release this preliminary map over 2 months ahead of schedule. PS-AHAB researchers would like to remind stakeholders that no relationship has yet been identified between locations with high cyst abundances and shellfish toxicity in Puget Sound, and the number of cysts required to initiate a bloom has not yet been determined. These questions, and others, form the basis of research being conducted by the PS-AHAB team. Please check this website regularly for updates and highlights of this Program.

The Washington State Department of Health Public Health Laboratory analyzed 3,201 PSP samples in 2012. PSP toxin levels were much higher in 2012 compared to 2011, with the highest recorded value being 10,304 micrograms detected in mussels near Kingston. The Federal Drug Administration standard for PSP toxins in shellfish tissues is 80 micrograms per 100 grams of meat. There were 23 commercial sub-tidal geoduck clam tracts, 5 commercial general growing areas, and 31 recreational harvest areas closed in 2012 due to unsafe levels of PSP, and alarmingly there were 9 reported PSP illnesses reported from people consuming blue mussels from areas that were closed to recreational shellfishing. This information was kindly provided by Jerry Borchert, and will assist the PS-AHAB Program to identify relationships between bloom events the previous summer, cyst deposition and the formation of overwintering "seed beds", and the potential for blooms the following summer.

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2012 Alexandrium cyst map

The map below shows the final counts of Alexandrium cysts from a survey conducted in January and February 2012. Highest cyst concentrations were found at Bellingham Bay in the north and Quartermaster Harbor in the south. This pattern of cyst abundance is similar to that found in 2011; however, Sound-wide cyst abundances in 2012 are less than those found in 2011 by a factor of 2 or more.

The Puget Sound Alexandrium Harmful Algal Bloom Research Program (PS-AHAB) released a preliminary version of this map to stakeholders in May to increase early warning capabilities for toxic bloom events. Please note that no relationship has yet been identified between locations with high cyst abundances and shellfish toxicity in Puget Sound, and the number of cysts required to initiate a bloom has not yet been determined. These questions, and others, form the basis of research currently being conducted by the PS-AHAB research team. Please check this website regularly for updates and highlights of this Program.

The Washington State Department of Health Public Health Laboratory analyzed 2,804 PSP samples in 2011. 2011 PSP levels were lower compared to 2010, with the highest recorded value being 954 micrograms. There were eight commercial sub-tidal geoduck clam tracts and two commercial general growing areas closed in 2011 due to PSP, but there were no reported PSP illnesses. This information was kindly provided by Jerry Borchert and will assist the PS-AHAB Program to identify relationships between bloom events the previous summer, cyst deposition and the formation of overwintering "seed beds", and the potential for blooms the following summer.

This map was shared with health authorities and shellfish growers in spring 2011, as part of the PS-AHAB “just-in-time” information dissemination to stakehold

 

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JPEG image icon 2012PSAHABcystmap_final.jpg1.7M Download View

2011 Alexandrium cyst map

The map below shows the final counts of Alexandrium cysts from a survey conducted in January and February 2011. Highest cyst concentrations were found at Bellingham Bay in the north and Quartermaster Harbor in the South.

The Puget Sound Alexandrium Harmful Algal Bloom Research Program (PS-AHAB) released a preliminary version of this map to stakeholders in May to increase early warning capabilities for toxic bloom events. Please note that no relationship has yet been identified between locations with high cyst abundances and shellfish toxicity in Puget Sound, and the number of cysts required to initiate a bloom has not yet been determined. These questions, and others, form the basis of research currently being conducted by the PS-AHAB research team. Please check this website regularly for updates and highlights of this Program.

The Washington State Department of Health Public Health Laboratory analyzed 3,135 PSP samples in 2010. PSP levels in 2010 were very high and set many new "All Time High Records" in 2010. Of the 26 locations that had PSP test over 1,000 micrograms, 24 were new records. Despite the high toxin levels, there were no reported PSP illnesses in 2010. Record PSP levels were recorded on the outside coast, in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and North Puget Sound. There was an unusual event in South Puget Sound that did not have real high test results but was particularly troublesome to the shellfish industry as it caused a number of shellfish closures. There were 20 commercial sub-tidal geoduck clam tract closures, 11 commercial shellfish growing area closures, and 2 commercial recalls due to PSP in 2010. This information was kindly provided by Frank Cox and will assist the PS-AHAB Program to identify relationships between bloom events the previous summer, cyst deposition and the formation of overwintering "seed beds", and the potential for blooms the following summer.

Download full-size image

 
JPEG image icon 2011PSAHABcystmap_final.jpg887K Download View

Announcements

The 2013 preliminary Alexandrium cyst map is available!
Mar 20, 2013 2:48 PM
Check out the 2013 preliminary cyst map by clicking on the "Cyst Maps" tab to the left of your screen.
King 5 and KUOW cover the 2012 Alexandrium cyst survey!
May 27, 2011 10:48 AM
Glenn Farley from King 5 and Ashley Ahearn from KUOW joined the crew aboard the R/V Clifford A. B...
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Send questions about this workspace to neil banas.