Harmful Algal Blooms
California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) and California Ocean Science Trust (OST) co-hosted a
workshop on March 22-23, 2018, in Sacramento, California, in partnership with California’s Interagency
Harmful Algal Bloom Task Force (Task Force). The workshop was convened in order to build upon
previous work on HABs and continue implementation of OPC Science Advisory Team Working Group
recommendations. The workshop agenda and discussion focused on how the scientific understanding of
harmful algal blooms (HABs) can inform domoic acid monitoring for seafood safety in California. Lessons
learned from Oregon, Washington, and the federal government were shared to strengthen the
California’s Task Force was established by OPC in early 2016 in response to the 2015-2016 domoic acid
event on the West Coast. The Task Force consists of representatives from the California Department of
Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the California Fish and Game Commission (FGC), the California Department of
Public Health (CDPH), the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), and
OPC. In addition to convening and coordinating with the Task Force, OPC funded its nonprofit partner,
OST, to convene a Working Group of OPC’s Science Advisory Team (OPC-SAT) to advance two important
resources regarding HABs and California fisheries in 2016. In August 2016, the Working Group, OST and
other partners, developed a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document. The FAQ addressed questions
on (1) HABs and seafood toxin monitoring efforts in California; (2) domoic acid and California fisheries;
(3) human health and seafood safety concerns; and (4) California’s fishery and seafood toxin
management. In October 2016, a short-term scientific guidance document was finalized which frames
scientific opportunities on harmful algal blooms and California fisheries.
The March 2018 HABs Workshop Summary is available here.
The Ocean Science Trust “Harmful Algal Blooms and California Fisheries” webpage may be accessed here.