Story: Marine invaders

Testing mussels for toxins

Testing mussels for toxins

Some microalgae produce toxins. Shellfish that consume them also absorb the toxins, which can cause serious illness in people who eat the shellfish. These scientists are testing mussels during the worst toxic algal bloom recorded in New Zealand. This occurred over 2000 and 2001, when Gymnodinium catenatum spread around parts of the coast. The outbreak was detected before anyone was poisoned, and shellfish farms were closed until the danger had passed. The alga was thought to be a recent arrival, but it may have already been present in small numbers.

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New Zealand Herald
Reference: 15 September 2000

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How to cite this page:

Christina Troup, 'Marine invaders - Invasive marine algae and plants in New Zealand', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 June 2024)

Story by Christina Troup, published 12 Jun 2006