[MARMAM] New publication: Marine algal toxins in California cetaceans

Kerri Danil - NOAA Federal kerri.danil at noaa.gov
Mon Mar 1 12:39:32 PST 2021

We are pleased to announce our new publication:  Danil, K., Berman, M.,
Frame, E., Preti, A., Fire, S.E., Leighfield, T., Carretta, J., Carter,
M.L., Lefebvre, K., 2021. Marine algal toxins and their vectors in southern
California cetaceans. Harmful Algae 103, 102000.


Published baseline data on biotoxin exposure in cetaceans is sparse but
critical for interpreting mortality events as harmful algal blooms increase
in frequency and duration. We present the first synthesis of domoic acid
(DA), saxitoxin (STX), okadaic acid (OA), and microcystin detections in the
feces and urine of stranded and bycaught southern California cetaceans,
over an 18 year period (2001–2018), along with corresponding stomach
content data. DA was detected in 13 out of 19 cetacean species, most often
in harbor porpoise (*Phocoena phocoena*) (81.8%, *n* = 22) and long-beaked
common dolphins (*Delphinus delphis bairdii*) (74%, *n* = 231). Maximum DA
concentrations of 324,000 ng/g in feces and 271, 967 ng/ml in urine were
observed in *D. d. bairdii*. DA was detected more frequently and at higher
concentrations in male vs. female *D. d. bairdii*. Higher fecal DA
concentrations in *D. d. bairdii* were associated with a greater proportion
of northern anchovy (*Engraulis mordax*) in the diet, indicating it may be
a primary vector of DA. Fecal DA concentrations for *D. d. bairdii* off
Point Conception were greater than those from animals sampled off Los
Angeles and San Diego counties, reflecting greater primary productivity and
higher *Pseudo-nitzschia* spp. abundance in that region and a greater
abundance of *E. mordax* in the diet. STX was detected at low levels (fecal
max = 7.5 ng/g, urine max = 17 ng/ml) in 3.6% (*n* = 165) of individuals
from 3 out of 11 species. The occurrence of *E. mordax* in 100% of the 3
examined stomachs suggests this species could be a primary vector of the
detected STX. OA was detected in 2.4% of tested individuals (*n* = 85) at a
maximum fecal concentration of 422.8 ng/g. Microcystin was detected in
14.3% (*n* = 7) of tested individuals with a maximum liver concentration of
96.8 ppb.


Kerri Danil (she/her)

Research Biologist, Southwest Fisheries Science Center

NOAA Fisheries | U.S. Department of Commerce

Office: (858) 546-7001

Stranding hotline: (858) 546-7162

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/marmam/attachments/20210301/cfa3cb56/attachment.html>

More information about the MARMAM mailing list