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Shellfish Monitoring Project – August Update

September 12, 2012

Message from Terry Thompson, Reserve Manager:

Kachemak Bay Research Reserve (KBRR) just received the final results of our August sampling of recreationally harvested shellfish on the Southern Kenai Peninsula. The collections occurred over the time period of Aug. 18-21, 2012. All beaches were sampled for their respective shellfish, however we were unable to find an adequate number of littleneck clams on the beach at Jakolof Bay so there will not be a report on littlenecks at that location for this reporting period.

Our results are as follows:

North beach Ninilchik                     razor clams                         less than 34 ug/100g PSP (undetectable)               less than 0.050 mg/kg domoic acid

South beach Ninilchik                     razor clams                         less than 34 ug/100g PSP (undetectable)               less than 0.049 mg/kg domoic acid

Port Graham Bay                              butter clams                       35 ug/100g PSP                

Jakolof Bay                                         butter clams                       less than 34 ug/100g PSP (undetectable)

China Poot Bay                                  butter clams                       less than 34 ug/100g PSP (undetectable)

Bear Cove                                           littleneck clams                 less than 34 ug/100g PSP (undetectable)

Bear Cove                                           blue mussels                      less than 34 ug/100g PSP (undetectable)

Homer Spit                                         blue mussels                      less than 34 ug/100g PSP (undetectable)

All shellfish must have less than 80 ug (micrograms) of paralytic shellfish toxin/100g of tissue to be considered safe for human consumption. Using the mouse bioassay test, PSP levels below 34 ug cannot be detected.

For domoic acid, levels under 20 mg/kg (equivalent to the regulatory limit of 20 parts per million (ppm)) are considered safe for human consumption.

This program is not sufficient to certify beaches as “safe” or completely ensure harvester safety from paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) or domoic acid poisoning.

Please contact Terry Thompson, Reserve Manager at terry.thompson@alaska.gov or 907.226.4656 if you have additional questions.

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