General Information

Event name: JM-85-001
Country: JAMAICA
Nature of the harmful event:
Water Discoloration , Mass mortalities
Event directly affected:
Planktonic life , Natural Fish
Toxicity detected: No
Associated syndrome:
Unexplained toxicity: Yes (Fish displayed typical symptoms due to ingestion of toxic dinoflagellates including erratic swimming motion, breathing before dying with mouth gaping and gills flared.)
Species implicated in toxin transmission (transvector):
Report the outcome of a monitoring programme: Yes (Pollution Monitoring by Natural Resources Conservation Department)
Event occurred before in this location: Yes (On a smaller scale the year before.)
Individuals to contact: Blythe-Mallett, Azra

Location & Date

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Location: Latitude: 17.900000, Longitude:
General location information: St. Thomas, South Coast
HAB Area code(s): JA-02
Additional location information: ~15 km of coastline affected from Bull Bay to Yallas. Area characterized by relatively deep waters (200m) close to shore.
Bloom event dates (yyyy/mm/dd): Event Date:1985-03-27
Start: 1985-01-01, End: 1985-05-20
Quarantine levels dates (yyyy/mm/dd):
Additional date-related information:


Causative organism known: No
Causative Species/Genus: Gonyaulax sp. ( cells/L)
Co-Ocurring Species/Genus: Trichodesmium sp. ( cells/L)
Oscillatoria sp. ( cells/L)
Chlorophyll concentration, if known: µg/l
Additional bloom information: Chlorophyll levels were almost undetectable. Phytoplankton species were identified from examination of water samples.
Event-related bibliography: Aiken, K. and B. Jupp. 1985. The St. Thomas Fish Kill. Jamaica Journal, Quarterly of the Institute of Jamaica 18 (3): 53-56.

Environmental Conditions

Weather: Turbidity (NTU): Wind direction: W
Stratified water: Yes Oxygen content (nL/L): 5.04 Wind velocity:
Temperature (°C): 26.5 Oxygen saturation %: Current Direction: W
Sechhi disk (m): Salinity: Current Velocity:
Nutrient information:
Temperature Range During Event: Max: °C, Min: °C
Salinity Range During Event:
Bloom location in the water column:
Growth: Advected
Growth Comments Species were affected in a westerly direction in keeping with wind and current.
Additional Environmental information: Organochlorides/ organophosphates from agricultural sources was identified as another possible cause for the fish kill.

Toxin Assay Information

Species containing the toxin Toxin type Toxin details Max. concentration Assay type
Kit used: Type of kit used:
Additional information: No assays were done for toxins.
Economic losses: Significant for small scale Fishers as 2,000 - 3,000 fish were lost which primarily provides bait for the hook-and-line and trolling fisheries as well as is used for food.
Management decision: A more coordinated response is needed for fish kills around the Island.
Additional harmful effect information:
Created at 08:25 on 30 Oct 2015