[MARMAM] New publication: Year-round algal toxin exposure in free-ranging sea lions

Adrianne Akmajian aakmajian at gmail.com
Thu Nov 16 11:25:36 PST 2017

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to share our recent Open Access publication in Marine
Ecology Progress Series:

Akmajian AM, Scordino JJ, Acevedo-Gutiérrez A (2017) Year-round algal toxin
exposure in free-ranging sea lions. *Marine Ecology Progress Series*


Harmful algal bloom toxins cause illness and mortality in marine mammals
worldwide, yet the potential for year-round exposure to these toxins has
not previously been studied. We measured concentrations of domoic acid and
saxitoxin in scats from Steller sea lions *Eumetopias jubatus* (n = 383
scats) and California sea lions *Zalophus californianus* (n = 125 scats)
over a 2 yr period. Toxin concentrations in the scats were compared to the
prey remains in the scats and to concentrations in nearshore bivalves.
Saxitoxin was detected in 45% and domoic acid was detected in 17% of all
scats tested, and both toxins were detected in all seasons and months of
the year. A variety of benthic and pelagic fish were significantly
associated with toxins in sea lion scats, including prey with low
occurrence in the sea lions’ diet. Toxins detected in winter scats confirm
that US West Coast marine mammals are exposed to domoic acid and saxitoxin
through their prey outside of the expected algal bloom seasons.

The publication can be downloaded from:

Thank you,

Adrianne Akmajian
Marine Ecologist
Makah Fisheries Management
marine.ecologist at makah.com
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