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Domoic Acid event is developing off Central and Southern California

Breaking News: Domoic Acid event is developing off Central and Southern California

The diatom pseudo-nitzschia can release a harmful neurotoxin called domoic acid. Marine wildlife that prey on anchovies and sardines are most at risk, including marine mammals and seabirds. Humans that consume contaminated seafood are at risk of amnesic shellfish poisoning.

Please pay attention to local seafood advisories reported by the California Department of Public Health (CA Fish Advisory Map) and by calling the CDFW Domoic Acid Fishery Closure Information Line: (831) 649-2883.

The main threat to humans is from consuming finfish, shellfish, and crustaceans with high levels of domoic acid, which in severe cases can be fatal. Ocean recreation is considered low risk, however, some people report skin irritation and respiratory reactions, so it’s advised to stay out of the water when a bloom is present.

The domoic acid impacts California sea lions' and dolphins brains and central nervous systems and these animals become extremely disoriented and have grand mal seizures. Stay 50 feet away (length of a school bus) from sick animals for your safety. Any seal lion approaching you in the water is not coming to play - they are disoriented and may bite.

To report marine wildlife strandings use the numbers provided on the map below. Learn more about best practices for marine mammal strandings on Beachapedia: and subscribe to the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS) CA HAB Bulletin listserv for a monthly hindcast synthesis of all things HAB related in the state.