General Information

Event name: ZAF-78-002
Nature of the harmful event:
Seafood toxins , Mass mortalities
Event directly affected:
Birds , Shellfish
Toxicity detected: Yes (Approximate range: 49g/100g - 7283g/100g)
Associated syndrome: PSP
Unexplained toxicity: No
Species implicated in toxin transmission (transvector): Black mussels, Choromytilus meridionalis
Report the outcome of a monitoring programme: No
Event occurred before in this location: Yes (1969 account by Grindley and Sapeika)
Individuals to contact: MANSFIELD, Lisa

Location & Date

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Location: Latitude: -33.072500, Longitude: 17.936944
General location information: Jutten Bay, West Coast, South Africa
HAB Area code(s): ZAF-01
Additional location information: Mussels affected from Lamberts Bay to Walker Bay with highest toxicity at Jutten Bay
Bloom event dates (yyyy/mm/dd): Event Date:1978-05-01
Start: 1978-05-10, End: 1978-08-01
Quarantine levels dates (yyyy/mm/dd): First detection: 1978-05-10,
Additional date-related information:


Causative organism known: Yes
Causative Species/Genus: Gonyaulax catenella ( cells/L)
cell/L not given in this record
Co-Ocurring Species/Genus:
Chlorophyll concentration, if known: µg/l
Additional bloom information:
Event-related bibliography: POPKISS, M. E. E., HORSTMAN, D. A. and D. HARPUR 1979 - Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning. S. Afr. Med. J. 55: 1017-1023.

Environmental Conditions

Weather: Turbidity (NTU): Wind direction:
Stratified water: Oxygen content (nL/L): Wind velocity:
Temperature (°C): Oxygen saturation %: Current Direction:
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 Comments
Additional Environmental information:

Toxin Assay Information

Species containing the toxin Toxin type Toxin details Max. concentration Assay type
Gonyaulax catenella Saxitoxins 7283g/100g mussel Bioassay-Mouse
Kit used: Type of kit used:
Additional information: Saxitoxin assays conducted according to methods described by Prakash et al 1971. All mice died and no significant extensions of death time was observed in either case.
Economic losses: Mortality of black mussels and adult white mussels
Management decision: For public health protection, it was recommended that shellfish toxicities be monitored with suitable warnings to public.
Additional harmful effect information: 17 cases of PSP in humans occured in Cape Town during this event.
Created at 08:22 on 11 Jan 2019
Updated at 10:08 on 11 Jan 2019