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Monitoring program yields quicker warnings against shellfish hazards


Mary Koppes / Petersburg Pilot

Jeff Simbahon and Natocha Lyons from the Petersburg Indian Association conduct water sampling at Sandy Beach as part of a new water monitoring system that will provide earlier alerts of harmful algal blooms. The blooms can lead to paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) in specimens harvested by recreational and subsistence fishers.

A new phytoplankton monitoring program being done by Petersburg Indian Association (PIA) will help alert recreational and subsistence shellfishers to harmful algal blooms in the area more quickly.

"There are types of phytoplankton that, in the spring or summertime or when the water starts to warm up, they start to come out of hibernation. And in some cases so much so that they form a bloom," said PIA Tribal Resource Director Marco Banda who heads the monitoring program and administers the organization's IGAP grant that funds it.

"What we're doing is creating a baseline monitoring system to...

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