Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 877
Title: Sound Toxins: A Monitoring Program in Puget Sound, Washington, USA
Author: R. A. Horner, Keri A. Baugh, N. G. Adams, Vera L. Trainer
Publication Year: 2009
Journal: Proceedings of the 13th International Symposium on Harmful Algae
Pages: 220-223

SoundToxins is a monitoring program designed to provide early warning of harmful algal bloom (HAB) and Vibrio parahaemolyticus events in order to minimize both human health risks and possible economic losses to fisheries in Puget Sound.  It is a diverse partnership of shellfish and finfish growers, environmental learning centers, Native tribes, and volunteers and is patterned after the very successful Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom (ORHAB) program on the Washington outer coast.  The project goals are to determine 1) which environmental conditions promote the onset and blooming of HAB species and increased concentrations of V. parahaemolyticus and 2) which combination of environmental factors might be used for early warning.  Sampling is done at 11 sites, primarily at shellfish and/or finfish farms, where shellfish are often harvested, or where toxins in shellfish and V. parahaemolyticus are known to occur based on past Washington State Department of Health records.  Weekly water samples are analyzed for temperature, salinity, macro nutrients, chlorophyll a, toxins (paralytic shellfish toxins and domoic acid), phytoplankton species, especially HAB species Alexandrium catenella, Dinophysis spp., Pseudo-nitzschia spp., and Heterosigma akashiwo, and the bacterium V. parahaemolyticus.


SoundToxins is a volunteer monitoring program for harmful algal blooms and Vibrio that provides an early warning of these events to managers, researchers and the general public.

Official Citation:

Horner, R.A., Baugh, K.A., Paranjpye, R., Adams, N.G., Trainer, V.L. 2009. SoundToxins: A monitoring program in Puget Sound, Washington, USA. Proceedings of the 13th International Symposium on Harmful Algae, Hong Kong. pp. 220-223.