Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) Monitoring



Update 1/11/18 – Recent molluscan shellfish samples collected from North Trident Basin on Near Island in Kodiak have levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning toxins above the FDA regulatory limit of 80µg/100g. PSP levels are highly dependent upon location and species. All samples are analyzed by Sitka Tribe of Alaska Environmental Research Lab (STAERL). Updates and contact information are available on the Southeast Alaska Tribal Ocean Research website.

See the table below for recent PSP levels on Kodiak at Near Island, North Trident Basin. This table will be updated frequently.

Date Collected Species PSP Result (ug/100g)
2/10/2017 Butter clam 134
3/29/2017 Butter clam 91
4/28/2017 Butter clam 154
5/29/2017 Butter clam 100
6/26/2017 Butter clam 140
7/24/2017 Butter clam 101
8/22/2017 Butter clam 183
9/20/2017 Butter clam 187
10/08/2017 Butter clam 141
11/05/2017 Butter clam 106
12/04/2017 Butter clam 79
1/03/2018 Butter clam 107

Historically, Kodiak Island has had elevated levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP), an illness caused by eating shellfish contaminated with toxins from a harmful algal bloom. These toxins can cause neurological symptoms and may lead to respiratory arrest.

Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak is collaborating with two organizations to learn more about the PSP levels in butter clams within the city of Kodiak. In 2016, Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak started digging butter clams on Near Island as part of a collaborative effort with Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program. These clams are collected, shucked and then frozen. The samples are then sent to North Carolina for analysis.

In 2017, Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak started collaborating with the Southeast Alaska Tribal Ocean Research (SEATOR, to learn more about the PSP levels in the city of Kodiak. Butter clams are collected and shipped whole to SEATOR, where they are analyzed in the lab using a receptor binding assay test.

Please see the following materials from SEATOR for more information on PSP:

PSP Fact Sheet

Harmful Alaskan Algal Species

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