June 2011 PSP Results Surpass FDA Acceptable Limits

The Qagan Tayagungin Tribe is continuing to work with the Aleutian Pribilof Island Association on our Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) project.  Samples of local shell fish are collected and sent to a lab in Anchorage for testing.

Results from the sample collected June 3, 2011 from the Sand Point Airport beach came in with high levels of PSP.  The FDA has set an acceptable limit of 80 micrograms, and the June sample came in at 93 micrograms, above what the FDA would consider safe for human consumption. 

On May 11th, the State of Alaska's Department of Health and Human Services released a warning saying the "only safe shellfish are the ones you buy in the store" as PSP is an "ever present possibility in Alaska".  While the Tribe is not advocating to completely stop harvesting shellfish locally, we do caution residents to closely monitor the PSP results as posted.  When PSP levels exceed what the FDA notes as safe for human consumption, avoid harvesting shellfish until further testing indicates PSP levels have dropped within acceptable levels in the local stock.

For more information on PSP and links to other resources, please visit the PSP Program section of our website under the Environmental Department.