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Current Reports


Rhode Island’s October 2016 Pseudo-nitzschia Bloom

Evidence of a 2016 Pseudo-nitzschia bloom in Rhode Island’s coastal waters was first discovered on September 26th when results of routine plankton sampling conducted as part of RIDEM’s ambient shellfish water quality monitoring detected an elevated Pseudo-nitzschia cell count (28,731 cells/L) in outer Newport Harbor.

Subsequent phytoplankton sampling in mid- Narragansett Bay (between Jamestown and Prudence Island) on October 5th and 6th revealed extremely elevated cell counts and one location also tested positive for the presence of Domoic Acid (DA) (the toxin that can be produced by Pseudo-nitzschia cells that causes Amnesiac Shellfish Poisoning) utilizing the Scotia screening kit. These results led RIDEM in consultation with RIDOH to put in place the unprecedented Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) shellfish closure for all of Narragansett Bay, Sakonnet River and Mt Hope Bay effective sunrise on October 7th and to require that dealers hold all shellfish in their possession.

Read more about Rhode Island’s October 2016 Pseudo-nitzschia Bloom


For the latest on shellfish closures, contact the DEM 24-hour shellfishing hotline at 401-222-2900. Join our Marine Fisheries Listserve or follow us on Twitter for timely updates on our programs.

Download Closure Map