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Short Citation:
Office for Coastal Management, 2023: Assessing Research Efforts and Emerging Issues Concerning Forage Fish Exposure to Paralytic Shellfish Toxins in Alaska - NERRS/NSC(NERRS Science Collaborative),

Item Identification

Title: Assessing Research Efforts and Emerging Issues Concerning Forage Fish Exposure to Paralytic Shellfish Toxins in Alaska - NERRS/NSC(NERRS Science Collaborative)
Status: Completed
Creation Date: 2022
Publication Date: 2022

Harmful algal bloom (HAB) events are becoming more common in Alaska as ocean temperatures rise due to climate change. These events carry the risk of producing dangerous levels of HAB-derived toxins in the marine environment, including paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs). PSTs pose a serious threat to uppertrophic populations (e.g., marine mammals, sea birds, predator fish), where a likely mechanism of delivery is via consumption of forage fish that have themselves been exposed to PSTs. Recent statewide occurrences, such as seabird die-off and marine mammal stranding events, have raised concerns about this pathway, highlighting a need to better understand its mechanisms. The issue is a lack of data-driven information regarding PST exposure levels in forage fish due to field data being difficult to obtain. This project sought to facilitate new collaborative science that addressed this issue by becoming better positioned to pursue future funding opportunities (phase I). Our approach was to conduct 'proof of concept' activities for the husbandry of Alaska forage fish species while simultaneously engaging with end users. We used these inputs to inform a proposal that would secure funds for continuation of this effort as a multi-year research project (phase II). As the only National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) in Alaska, the Kachemak Bay NERR was able to act as a collaborative platform bringing necessary expertise within Alaska and nationally to the planning table, as well as engage with end users to ensure that research findings met user needs at various scales.


Through a 2020 catalyst project, staff from the Kachemak Bay NERR expanded research collaborations and completed proof of concept activities to catalyze future research on the mechanisms of paralytic shellfish toxin transfer from forage fish to upper trophic populations - an increasing concern after statewide seabird die-offs and marine mammal strandings.

Supplemental Information:

==Project lead and contact information

Coowe Walker, Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve,

Chris Guo, Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve,

==About the Project Dataset

Dataset Title: Nearshore Fish Collections in Kachemak Bay and Monashka Bay, Alaska

General description of data:

These data encompass the nearshore fish surveys conducted by the Kachemak Bay NERR during summer months in 2021. The primary purpose of the data collection was to assess nearshore fish community structure tied to local site and environmental information, and secondarily to collect forage fish specimen for aquaculture activities. Data collection was conducted for multiple projects within KBNERR's nearshore fish program. Most of the data were collected using non-selective beach seine methods, but some collection was done by hand. The overall data structure replicates a standard format used by the Nearshore Fish Atlas Database curated by the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center.

Search keywords:

nearshore fish, community assemblage, beach seine, Alaska, Kachemak Bay, Monashka Bay, Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

More about the data:

-Metadata: project name, descript/purpose, PI's, funding sources, gear description, fish sampling protocols, environmental sampling protocols, and other relevant information

-Site data: Site ID, latitude, longitude, habitat, and comments

-Event data: Site ID, event ID, raw event ID, date, gear type, time, water temperature, salinity,tide, and comments

-Catch data: Event ID, species name, life stage, count, length, length type, comments


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science Keywords
None beach seine
None community assemblage
None nearshore fish

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None Kachemak Bay NERR, AK
None Monashka Bay, AK

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Maintenance Frequency: As Needed
Distribution Liability:

The distributor does not assume liability.

Support Roles

Data Steward

CC ID: 1203252
Date Effective From: 2015
Date Effective To:
Contact (Organization): Office for Coastal Management (OCM)
Address: 2234 South Hobson Avenue
Charleston, SC 29405-2413


CC ID: 1203253
Date Effective From: 2015
Date Effective To:
Contact (Organization): Office for Coastal Management (OCM)
Address: 2234 South Hobson Avenue
Charleston, SC 29405-2413

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 1203250
Date Effective From: 2017-10-31
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Cothran, Jeremy
Email Address:
View Historical Support Roles


Currentness Reference: Ground Condition

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 1203270
W° Bound: -152.452
E° Bound: -152.357
N° Bound: 57.857
S° Bound: 57.81

Monashka Bay near Kodiak, AK

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 2

CC ID: 1203264
W° Bound: -151.881
E° Bound: -151.384
N° Bound: 60.096
S° Bound: 59.44

Kachemak Bay, AK NERR

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 1203263
Time Frame Type: Range
Start: 2021-03
End: 2022-02

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Access Constraints:


Data Use Constraints:

Cite this dataset when used as a source: NOAA retains the right to analyze, synthesize and publish summaries of the NERRS/NSC data. The NERRS/NSC retains the right to be fully credited for having collected and process the data. Following academic courtesy standards, the NERR site where the data were collected should be contacted and fully acknowledged in any subsequent publications in which any part of the data are used. The data enclosed within this package/transmission are only as accurate as the quality assurance and quality control procedures that are described in the associated metadata reporting statement allow. The user bears all responsibility for its subsequent use/misuse in any further analyses or comparisons. The Federal government does not assume liability to the Recipient or third persons, nor will the Federal government reimburse or indemnify the Recipient for its liability due to any losses resulting in any way from the use of this data. Requested citation format: NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative(NSC).

Distribution Information

Distribution 1

CC ID: 1203254
Download URL:
Distributor: Office for Coastal Management (OCM) (2015 - Present)
File Name: Walker20
File Type (Deprecated): Multiple formats



CC ID: 1203257
Name: Ralston16
URL Type:
Online Resource

project website for NSC


CC ID: 1203271
URL Type:
Online Resource

project GIS website

Data are available via the Alaska Fisheries Nearshore Fish Atlas Database maintained by NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center link

To find the project data, select 'Guo - KBNERR' under the POC tab and then navigate the map to find specific datasets of interest.

Data Quality



Quality Control Procedures Employed:

This information is detailed within the project links.


Lineage Statement:

This information is detailed within the project links.



CC ID: 1203260

Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 1203261


Process Contact: Office for Coastal Management (OCM)

Child Items

Rubric scores updated every 15m

Rubric Score Type Title
Entity N/A

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 69058
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:69058
Metadata Record Created By: Jeremy Cothran
Metadata Record Created: 2023-01-08 15:50+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: Jeremy Cothran
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2023-01-08 17:01+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2023-01-08
Owner Org: OCM
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2019-11-08
Metadata Review Frequency: 3 Years
Metadata Next Review Date: 2022-11-08