• Review of phytoplankton monitoring 2005

      Moran, S.; Silke, J.; Salas, R.; Chamberlain, T.; Lyons, J.; Flannery, J.; Thornton, V.; Clarke, D.; Devilly, L. (Marine Institute, 2006)
      A national phytoplankton monitoring programme, has been in operation in Ireland since 1986, and fulfils requirements of the EU Council Directive 91/492/EEC. This programme provides an important part of the baseline data in the overall integrated shellfish monitoring programme. The analysis of samples received on a regular basis from a site can provide very important information in assembling a population profile for the area. This helps in crucial decisions, for example in Management Cell Decisions - conducted by representatives from the industry, MI, FSAI and DCMNR - when borderline toxin results are present. Phytoplankton monitoring is also hugely important in the Water Framework Directive, which all EU countries must follow, in developing an index of water quality in Ireland and Europe. The Irish Monitoring programme also gives valuable public health information to County Councils, Environmental Health Officer’s and the public during times of bloom events. This paper provides an overview of phytoplankton sampling, analysis and reporting in 2005. The occurrence of potentially toxic and harmful phytoplankton found in Irish coastal and shelf waters in 2005 is also reviewed and the quality scheme in operation is described.
    • Use of LC-MS testing to identify lipophilic toxins, to establish local trends and interspecies differences and to test the comparability of LC-MS testing with the mouse bioassay: an example from the Irish biotoxin monitoring programme 2001

      Hess, P.; McMahon, T.; Slattery, D.; Swords, D.; Dowling, G.; McCarron, M.; Clarke, D.; Gobbons, W.; Silke, J.; O'Cinneide, M. (Conselleria de Pesca e Asuntos Maritimos da Xunta de Galicia and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, 2003)
      During 2001, the Marine Institute has extended its range of chemical tests to include the analysis of DSP toxins by Liquid Chromatography coupled to Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS). Thus the range of compounds determined extends from domoic acid over DSP compounds (okadaic acid and DTXs) to azaspiracids (AZAs). These tests complement the mouse bioassay, which is the current reference method for lipophilic toxins within the European Community. The development and performance characteristics of the LC-MS method are discussed. Isomer patterns and interspecies differences are discussed as well as local trends in time and variability at one production site at a given time. Comparison of the LC-MS results with the results from the mouse bioassay showed good agreement (93%), and a small but significant number of discrepancies (7%). Overall, the chemical testing has proven to be an invaluable tool in the assessment of shellfish toxicity in Ireland. Lacks of standards and reference materials are discussed as well as the need for further research into the equivalence of methods.