Hi all –

I wanted to let you know we have been following a very big bloom of Pseudo-nitzschia over the past couple of weeks here in the bay, and the amount of associated domoic acid is really extraordinary. We happened to catch it as part of a NOAA ECOHAB project — UCSC is lead, with MBARI, USC and SCCWRP as partners…

Yesterday I noticed anchovies washing up on the beach in front of MBARI as far as I could see. There’s also lines of fish scales (anchovy?) marking the high tide line. We picked up some of the dead fish — guts are full of Psuedo-nitzschia frustules and the fish are hot with DA. One of the staff went snorkeling off the beach here, and saw the seafloor littered with anchovies. There’s lots of birds feasting on the fish — we are seeing some dead birds amongst the fish, so I would guess some are getting hammered with DA.

The bloom appears to be most toxic in the southern side of the bay for reasons we don’t understand. Heads up to the MBA for your seawater intake, and keep an eye out for seizuring sealions, sick birds, maybe sick otters. You may also see fish washing up.

We think this is a very large event — there’s reports of DA toxicity in WA ….

Don’t eat shellfish or forage fish from MB — very nasty right now!!!


Chris Scholin
President and CEO
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute