Monitoring Group: Aleutian Pribilof Islands Assoc.

Geographic focus: Aleutian and Pribilof Islands

Description: The Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association (APIA) has been working for over a decade to understand the risks from paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), both to people and the ecosystem. Our work at APIA on harmful algal blooms began in 2005 with 20 monitoring stations from Ketchikan all along the Gulf of Alaska coast to Russian where we also trained technicians on the Commander Islands to collect monthly samples and test for PSP. The initial monthly sampling effort lasted just over a year and established a necessary PSP baseline for future PSP work in Alaska. From 2007 to the present, we monitor for PSP at the following stations:

Community Species Period
Adak mussels monthly (June-Aug)
Akutan mussels monthly (March-Oct)
Atka mussels monthly (March – Oct)
Chignik Lagoon butter clams monthly (Jan-Dec)
False Pass mussels monthly (May-Aug)
King Cove butter clams monthly (Jan-Dec)
Nelson Lagoon mussels monthly (March-Aug)
Sand Point butter clam monthly (Jan-Dec)
St. George mussels  monthly (April-Oct)
Unalaska mussels  monthly (April-Sept)

Special projects include study of PSP in Haines, in Dungeness crab, variability at a single sampling site, variability of clam parts, Kodiak’s subsistence harvest, testing forage fish, birds and marine mammals suspected of HAB’s toxicity, development of predictive model for Aleutian Islands using data from phytoplankton surveys and temperature and salinity loggers, predictions for top predators from HABs, and a collaboration with Sea Grant and NOAA studying HABs and development of a field test kit.

The results are distributed to the community environmental contacts and Tribes, and an annual report is circulated widely. The Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association Harmful Algal Bloom Program is funded by APIA.

Primary contact person or people:
Bruce Wright, Senior Scientist,
Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association
1131 E. International Airport Rd.
Anchorage, AK 99518-1408



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