Dangerous PSP Results Detected in July Sample

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 July 1, 2011 from the Sand Point Airport beach came in with dangerously high levels of PSP.  The FDA has set an acceptable limit of 80 micrograms, and the July sample came in at 192 micrograms, over double what the FDA would consider safe for human consumption.

Shellfish harvesters should be advised that paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is a serious health risk when consuming personally harvested shellfish. Based upon the inability to predict PSP, and incidences in 2010 that included dangerous concentrations measured in blue mussels tested in the Haines area, illnesses that occurred in Kodiak and a fatality near Juneau, and very high PSP levels in Akutan, King Cove, Sand Point and Unalaska you are advised to not consume untested personally harvested bivalve shellfish (shellfish with two shells like clams, mussels, cockles and scallop).  Crabs feeding on toxic shellfish can accumulate PSP toxin in their digestive system, so it is recommend that before cooking, you remove the back shell of the crab and clean out all the dark soft tissues that compose the digestive system and crab butter.

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