General Information

Event name: US-90-001
Nature of the harmful event:
Seafood toxins
Event directly affected:
Toxicity detected: Yes
Associated syndrome: PSP
Unexplained toxicity: No
Species implicated in toxin transmission (transvector): Blue mussels.
Report the outcome of a monitoring programme: Yes
Event occurred before in this location: Yes (Similar shellfish contamination with paralytic shellfish toxins occurred in 1989, apparently for the firt time, although there were no reported cases of PSP. Shellfishing was banned in 1989, as it was in 1990.)
Individuals to contact: WHITE, Alan

Location & Date

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Location: Latitude: , Longitude:
General location information: Little Georges, Georges Bank
HAB Area code(s): US-06
Additional location information: offshore waters of the northeastern U.S.
Bloom event dates (yyyy/mm/dd):
Quarantine levels dates (yyyy/mm/dd):
Additional date-related information: May 1990. Not determined how long the bloom lasted, although a few plankton samples made in June did not reveal many Alexandrium tamarense cells.


Causative organism known: Yes
Causative Species/Genus: Alexandrium tamarense ( cells/L)
Co-Ocurring Species/Genus:
Chlorophyll concentration, if known: µg/l
Additional bloom information: All circumstantial evidence points to Alexandrium tamarense, which is the toxic dinoflagellate responsible for PSP in the coastal waters of New England and eastern Canada and which grows in those coastal waters each year.
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: 12 °C, Min: 10 °C
Salinity Range During Event:
Bloom location in the water column:
Growth Comments It is not known whether A. Tamarense cells are transported to Georges Bank from coastal blooms or whether the offshore bloom develops in situ.
Additional Environmental information: Georges Bank is an open ocean environment 100-200 miles from the nearest land (Cape Cod). Much of the Georges Bank area is very shallow (10-15 m) and the region is a very rich fishing grounds for both shellfish and finfish. In May the surface waters in th

Toxin Assay Information

Species containing the toxin Toxin type Toxin details Max. concentration Assay type
Kit used: No Type of kit used:
Additional information:
Economic losses:
Management decision: Shellfishing was banned from U.S. Waters south of 4920'N and east of 69W. The sea scallop fishery remained open because the only item marketed was the adductor muscle which remains toxin-free or nearly so.
Additional harmful effect information: