General Information

Event name: US-02-023
Nature of the harmful event:
Seafood toxins
Event directly affected:
Toxicity detected: Yes (Approximate range: 20,751 g STXeq /100 g.)
Associated syndrome: PSP
Unexplained toxicity: No
Species implicated in toxin transmission (transvector):
Report the outcome of a monitoring programme: Yes (WA Dept. of Health, office of Food Safety & Shellfish Programs, Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Program)
Event occurred before in this location: Yes (The Strait of Juan De Fuca and accompaning inlets have had previous PSP closures.)
Individuals to contact: COX, Frank

Location & Date

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Location: Latitude: , Longitude:
General location information: Strait of Juan de Fuca and Olympic Peninsula., Washington.
HAB Area code(s): US-24
Additional location information: Pacific Northwest. Sequim Bay and Discovery Bay on the Strait of Juan De Fuca and Kilisut Harbor, including Mystery Bay closed in October, 2002. The highest toxin level was recorded at Mystery Bay in Kilisut Harbor.
Bloom event dates (yyyy/mm/dd): Start: 2002-09-07,
Quarantine levels dates (yyyy/mm/dd):
Additional date-related information: Still closed as of 03/11/03 Recreational shellfish closures began in July, 2002 and were lifted in September. A second massive PSP bloom impacted both commercial and recreational areas in September and October, closing Sequim Bay, Discovery Bay, West Strait of Juan de Fuca and Kilisut Harbor, setting the second highest record for PSP toxin in Washington shellfish. The second bloom closures continue for all species or for butter clam only closures as of this writing on 03/11/03.


Causative organism known: Yes
Causative Species/Genus: Alexandrium catenella ( cells/L)
Co-Ocurring Species/Genus:
Chlorophyll concentration, if known: µg/l
Additional bloom information:
Event-related bibliography:

Environmental Conditions

Weather: Turbidity (NTU): Wind direction:
Stratified water: Yes Oxygen content (nL/L): Wind velocity:
Temperature (°C): Oxygen saturation %: Current Direction:
Sechhi disk (m): Salinity: Current Velocity: 0
Nutrient information:
Temperature Range During Event: Max: °C, Min: °C
Salinity Range During Event:
Bloom location in the water column:
Growth Comments
Additional Environmental information:

Toxin Assay Information

Species containing the toxin Toxin type Toxin details Max. concentration Assay type
Blue mussels (11/03/02) Saxitoxins STX eq 20,751 Bioassay-Mouse
Geoduck, Manila Clams, Pacific Oysters Saxitoxins Bioassay-Mouse
Kit used: No Type of kit used:
Additional information: Blue Mussels were the most toxic specie.
Economic losses: Recreational and commercial shellfish harvest seasons were interrupted, causing an economic loss to the communities along the Strait of Juan De Fuca.
Management decision: DOH closed shellfish harvesting at impacted areas to protect public health.
Additional harmful effect information: