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Mar. Drugs 2013, 11(11), 4144-4157; doi:10.3390/md11114144
Article

Formation of a Volunteer Harmful Algal Bloom Network in British Columbia, Canada, Following an Outbreak of Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning

1,* , 2
 and 3
1 British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, 655 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 4R4, Canada 2 AquaBC Consulting, 2610 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V6K 2J7, Canada 3 Harmful Algae Monitoring Program, Centre for Shellfish Research, Vancouver Island University, 900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo, BC, V9R 5S5, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 July 2013 / Revised: 3 October 2013 / Accepted: 15 October 2013 / Published: 29 October 2013
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Abstract

Evidence for shellfish toxin illness in British Columbia (BC) on the west coast of Canada can be traced back to 1793. For over two hundred years, domestically acquired bivalve shellfish toxin illnesses in BC were solely ascribed to paralytic shellfish poisonings caused by algal blooms of Alexandrium. This changed in 2011, when BC experienced its first outbreak of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP). As a result of this outbreak, Canada’s first DSP symposium was held in November, 2012, in North Vancouver, BC. Three of the objectives of the symposium were to provide a forum to educate key stakeholders on this emerging issue, to identify research and surveillance priorities and to create a DSP network. The purpose of this paper is to review what is known about shellfish poisoning in BC and to describe a novel volunteer network that arose following the symposium. The newly formed network was designed for industry shellfish growers to identify harmful algae bloom events, so that they may take actions to mitigate the effects of harmful blooms on shellfish morbidity. The network will also inform public health and regulatory stakeholders of potentially emerging issues in shellfish growing areas.
Keywords: DSP; biotoxin; monitoring network; public health; phytoplankton; surveillance DSP; biotoxin; monitoring network; public health; phytoplankton; surveillance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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McIntyre, L.; Cassis, D.; Haigh, N. Formation of a Volunteer Harmful Algal Bloom Network in British Columbia, Canada, Following an Outbreak of Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning. Mar. Drugs 2013, 11, 4144-4157.

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