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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Exposure of Santa Cruz Wharf Anglers to Domoic Acid Toxins


The goals of this pilot project were to determine the extent of the public health threat posed by pier anglers’ consumption of self-caught seafood containing domoic acid (DA), and to lay the foundation for further research, education and outreach to address the threat. Year 1 project objectives were to: 1) design, test and initiate an intercept survey of SCW anglers to identify and characterize their seafood consumption patterns; and 2) determine the concentrations of HAB toxins in the species targeted by SCW anglers, while monitoring ambient DA toxins and toxic Pseudo-nitzschia species in the SCW area and at a more open-water site. Year 2 project objectives were to: 1) determine whether a quantitative link exists between toxic phytoplankton in the water and DA contamination of commonly caught fish at the SCW; 2) determine the relationship between SCW anglers’ seafood consumption patterns and their socio-cultural and economic characteristics; 3) identify subpopulations of SCW anglers whose seafood consumption patterns put them at risk for exposure to DA; and 4) work with state agencies and other interested parties to determine how best to export these results to support their efforts to protect public health.

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