Variation in domoic acid concentration in king scallop (Pecten maximus) from fishing grounds around the Isle of Man

Y. M. Bogan, D. J. Kennedy, A. L. Harkin, J. Gillespie, B. J. Vause, B. D. Beukers-Stewart, P. Hess, J. W. Slater

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Domoic acid (DA), the toxin responsible for amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) can accumulate in king scallop Pecten Maximus leading to extensive fishery closures. Approximately 59% of the total value of all fish and shellfish landed in the Isle of Man in 2004 comprised king scallop, hence the economy of the Manx marine sector is particularly susceptible to impacts from this biotoxin. Scallop from fishing grounds around the Isle of Man were sampled in October 2003, June 2004 and October 2004 to determine levels of inter-animal and spatial variability in DA concentration and factors that might influence toxin concentration such as scallop size and water depth. Mean DA concentrations in hepatopancreas ranged from 296.3 mu g g(-1) to below the detection limit, in gonad from 27.8 mu g g(-1) to below the limit of detection and in adductor muscle from 7.3 mu g g(-1) to below the limit of detection. High levels of inter-animal variability of DA concentration in hepatopancreas were recorded; CVs ranging from 16.1 % to 70.0%. DA concentrations above 20 mu g g(-1) were recorded in gonads on all three sampling dates. Scallops from fishing grounds on the east of the Isle of Man were significantly less contaminated than those from the west and southwest. A significant positive correlation between DA concentration and shell length was recorded in some sites, but there was no relationship with water depth. The high inter-anirrial, spatial and seasonal variability in toxin concentration highlighted the importance of understanding field variability for the development of reliable sampling and management protocols. (c) 2006 Published by Elsevier B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-92
Number of pages12
JournalHarmful algae
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


  • amnesic shellfish poisoning
  • domoic acid
  • Pecten maximus
  • spatial variability
  • Isle of Man

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