AB 9:1-12 (2010)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00238

FEATURE ARTICLE
Angler exposure to domoic acid via consumption of contaminated fishes

Fernanda F. M. Mazzillo1,*, Caroline Pomeroy2, Julie Kuo1, Pete T. Ramondi3, Raquel Prado4, Mary W. Silver1

1Department of Ocean Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, California 95064, USA
2California Sea Grant Extension Program, University of California Cooperative Extension, 1432 Freedom Blvd, Watsonville, CA 95076, USA
3Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of California Santa Cruz, Center for Ocean Health, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, California 95064, USA
4Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, University of California Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, California 95064, USA

ABSTRACT: Domoic acid (DA) is a neurotoxin that causes amnesic shellfish poisoning, and fish are recognized vectors of DA to marine fauna. However, the exposure of anglers through consumption of DA-contaminated fish is unknown. We measured DA in 11 fish species targeted by Santa Cruz Wharf (SCW) anglers in Monterey Bay, California, USA, and surveyed anglers regarding their fish consumption patterns. In addition, we used California mussel Mytilus californianus DA data provided by the state of California and our measurements of DA in seawater to examine the associations between DA in fish viscera versus in mussels and seawater. DA was detected in the viscera of 7 fish species commonly consumed by anglers, and toxin uptake in fishes varied according to their diet. DA was almost entirely in the viscera, with low DA concentrations detected in muscle tissue. The majority of anglers (58% of 565) reported consuming their catch, with a small fraction ingesting the viscera. Total DA concentrations in fish decreased significantly after 11 mo storage at –20°C. DA concentration in seawater and California mussels was correlated with DA in the viscera of some but not all fish groups. We conclude that SCW anglers who consume their catch are exposed to asymptomatic DA doses, and that exposure is a function of the species and parts consumed, as well as storage methods and DA levels in the seawater when the fish are caught.


KEY WORDS: Domoic acid · Human exposure · Recreational fishery · Anglers · Mytilus californianus · Pseudo-nitzschia · Monterey Bay


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Cite this article as: Mazzillo FFM, Pomeroy C, Kuo J, Ramondi PT, Prado R, Silver MW (2010) Angler exposure to domoic acid via consumption of contaminated fishes. Aquat Biol 9:1-12. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00238

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