National Status and Trends: Mussel Watch Program - Resurrection Bay Database

Metadata Updated: January 16, 2016

In response to the growing concerns among Native communities about the safety of subsistence shellfish, this project assessed the health risks associated with consuming softshell clams, mussels and cockles. The aforementioned shellfish were collected in traditional harvest area in Resurrection Bay, AK and analyzed for contaminant body burdens and for occurrences of pathogens and diseases. A broad suite of contaminants were analyzed including 55 Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) , 27 chlorinated pesticides including DDT and its break-down products, 37 Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), 16 major and trace elements (Ag, Al, As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Sn and Zn), and tributyl-tin and its break-down products. The health of the subsistence shellfish were further characterized based on the presence an array of about 30 parasite taxa (e.g. bucephalus, chlamydia, ciliates, cestodes and nematodes) and occurrence of 11 diseases (e.g. MSX, tumors, neoplasm, edema and necrosis), which were quantified using prevalence and intensity computation. Results indicated that: - A great variation in metal body burdens among the different subsistence shellfish studied. Mercury was measured in all shellfish, but with the maximum value (0.2 ppm) found in blue mussels. Maximum tissue concentration for toxic metals such as chromium and Nickel were recorded in cockles. Maximum values for cadmium were found in mussels and softshell clams, while that of lead was found in the blue mussels. - Organic contaminants were detected in all subsistence shellfish although many of these compounds were banned more than three decades ago. - Metal and organic contaminant body burden were in general very low relatively to U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines for seafood safety. - Among the parasites assessed only large gill ciliates, small gill ciliates and gut rickettsia were detected in clam and blue mussels. - Among the bivalve diseases and tissue pathologies characterized in this study, digestive tubule atrophy was the most prevalent with 100% occurrence in cockles and mussels and about 96% in clams. Disease, such as ceroid bodies and histological condition such as diffuse and focal inflammations were also measured, but at relatively lower count than the digestive track atrophy. - In general, all infections and tissue pathology in the shellfish were minor and the conditions do not appear to be either a threat to the health of the shellfish or to humans that consume them. As a part of this study interspecies concentration factors (ICFs) that relate chemical concentrations in mussels to those in subsistence shellfish, were determined. The intent is to use ICFs as factor to evaluate contaminant concentrations in a wide range of Alaskan shellfish based upon measurements obtained for one species, thereby eliminating the need to monitor all species. Concentration values for many compounds were low or not detected, but where possible ICFs were calculated. This project provides invaluable baseline chemical body burden data on shellfish species that is geo-referenced and posted on the internet through the NOAA's National Status and Trends data portal.

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Metadata Date January 7, 2016
Metadata Created Date January 16, 2016
Metadata Updated Date January 16, 2016
Reference Date(s) June 15, 2011 (publication)
Frequency Of Update notPlanned

Metadata Source

Harvested from NOAA CSW Harvest Source

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date January 7, 2016
Metadata Created Date January 16, 2016
Metadata Updated Date January 16, 2016
Reference Date(s) June 15, 2011 (publication)
Responsible Party National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA) (Point of Contact)
Contact Email
Access Constraints Use Constraints: NOAA requests that all individuals who download NOAA data acknowledge the source of these data in any reports, papers, or presentations. If you publish these data, please include a statement similar to: "Some or all of the data described in this article were produced by the "NOAA's Ocean Service through its National Status and Trends Program (NSandT)", Access Constraints: None
Bbox East Long -149.3583
Bbox North Lat 60.1316
Bbox South Lat 59.9670
Bbox West Long -149.5101
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update notPlanned
Harvest Object Id 1c1fc044-9382-427d-a1b7-0f4204e416c8
Harvest Source Id 2aed8e29-fc5b-4cde-aa66-fb1118fd705e
Harvest Source Title NOAA CSW Harvest Source
Licence These data were prepared by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, make any warranty, expressed or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed in this report, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference therein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. Any views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof. Although all data have been used by NOAA, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by NOAA as to the accuracy of the data and/or related materials. The act of distribution shall not constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by NOAA in the use of these data or related materials.
Metadata Language
Metadata Type geospatial
Progress completed
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True

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