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Bibliography of the Maurice Lamontagne Institute

Esther BONNEAU

BLASCO, D., M. LEVASSEUR, E. BONNEAU, R.. GELINAS, T.T. PACKARD, 2003. Patterns of paralytic shellfish toxicity in the St. Lawrence region in relationship with the abundance and distribution of Alexandrium tamarense. Sci. Mar. (Barc.), 67(3): 261-278 .

LEVASSEUR, M., J.-Y. COUTURE, A.M. WEISE, S. MICHAUD, M. ELBRACHTER, G. SAUVÉ, E. BONNEAU, 2003. Pelagic and epiphytic summer distributions of prorocentrum lima and P. mexicanum at two mussel farms in the Gulf of St.Lawrence, Canada. Aquat. Microbiol. Ecol., 30: 283-293 .

BONNEAU, E., J.-Y. COUTURE, M. LEVASSEUR, 2002. Le programme de monitorage des algues toxiques de la région du Québec: un outil précieux pour le développement des connaissances. AZMP Bull. PMZA, 2: 24-25 .

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The Toxic Algae Monitoring Program (TAMP) of the Quebec Region covers the entire maritime area of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, with a network of 11 coastal stations sampled between May and October over the last 13 years. The primary objective of this program is to provide complementary information for the biotoxin monitoring program on shellfish that is carried out each year by the Canadien Food Inspection Agency. TAMP provides identification and counts of toxic algae and also allows the acquisition of new knowledge of new on the dynamics of these algae and on the environmental conditions that favour their growth and development. In this context, the living material and/or the data that have been obtained via TAMP have been used for many other research projects that have already produced several scientific publications. This mutually beneficial relationship between monitoring and research activities has demonstrated a great scientific efficiency and we hope that this approach will be exploited to its full potential in the future. For the Atlantic Zone Monitoring Program of the Quebec Region, TAMP represents an essential association to allow the acquisition of environmental information in the near-shore zone.

WEISE, A.M., M. LEVASSEUR, F.J. SAUCIER, S. SENNEVILLE, E. BONNEAU, S. ROY, G. SAUVÉ, S. MICHAUD, J. FAUCHOT, 2002. The link between precipitation, river runoff, and blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense in the St. Lawrence. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 59: 464-473 .

Blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense, which is responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning, are annually recurrent events in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence, Quebec, Canada. The analysis of abundance data for this algal species between 1989 and 1998 at Sept-Iles, a presumed initiation site in the north-western Gulf of St. Lawrence, revealed yearly fluctuations in the onset, duration, and magnitude of toxic A. tamarense blooms. Hydrological and meteorological data for the region indicate that rainfall, Moisie River runoff, and wind are highly related to the pattern of bloom development each year. Results from the 10-year data set reveal that in this system: 1) high Moisie River runoff from a prolonged spring freshet or from heavy rainfall events in the summer and fall can initiate A. tamarense blooms; 2) high Moisie River runoff combined with prolonged periods of weak winds (<  4 m times s-1) favour the continued development of blooms; and 3) winds > 8 m times s-1 disrupt blooms. Salinity, which reflects the general state of the water column in terms of freshwater input and stability, had a strong negative correlation with the probability of observing A. tamarense cells at this station and could thus be used as a predictive tool for the presence of cells in this system.

COUTURE, J.Y., M. LEVASSEUR, E. BONNEAU, C. DESJARDINS, G. SAUVÉ, S.S. BATES, C. LÉGER, R. GAGNON, S. MICHAUD, 2001. Spatial and temporal variation of domoic acid in molluscs and of Pseudo-nitzschia spp. blooms in the St. Lawrence from 1998 to 2000. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 2375, 24 p .

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The presence of domoic acid (the toxin responsilbe for Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning - ASP) in shellfish has been monitored in the estuary and the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence since 1997 by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The results indicate a spatial and temporal evolution of domoic acid contamination between 1998 and 2000. Trace amounts of this toxin were first detected in the gonads of sea scallops from fishing areas offshore of the Iles-de-la-Madeleine in the summer of 1998. In 1999, the concentration of domoic acid in the digestive glands of sea scallops from the same area reached 585 ug g -1, whereas the adductor muscles were not contaminated. At the same time, concentrations of domoic acid close to 25 ug g -1 digestive gland were measured in sea scallops from the Havre-aux-Maisons lagoon while trace amounts were measured for the first time in soft-shell clams collected on the Lower North Shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In 2000, the digestive glands of sea scallops from the Iles-de-la-Madeleine remained toxic and trace amounts of domoic acid were measured in shellfish all along the North Shore, from Tadoussac to Havre-Saint-Pierre. In addition to the CFIA data, the Harmful Algae Monitoring Program of the Maurice Lamontagne Institute (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) revealed the presence of two potentially domoic-acid-producing diatoms in the St. Lawrence: Pseudo-nitzschia seriata and Pseudo-nitzschi delicatissima. Analysis of data showed a link between domoic acid in some shellfish from the Iles-de-la-Madeleine and North Shore and the presence of Pseudo-nitzschia seriata. Dense blooms of P. delicatissima (with no P. seriata) did not cause toxicity. Laboratory analyses performed on a P. seriata strain isolated from the St. Lawrence estuary during a toxic event showed the ability of P. seriata to produce domoic acid whereas all attempts made with P. delicatissima from other regions of eastern Canada have so far been negative. These new results show that P. seriata blooms in the St. Lawrence and the resulting shellfish toxicity due to domoic acid represent a potential risk that needs to be considered in the future.

COUTURE, J.Y., M. LEVASSEUR, E. BONNEAU, C. DESJARDINS, G. SAUVÉ, S.S. BATES, C. LÉGER, R. GAGNON, S. MICHAUD, 2001. Variations spatiales et temporelles des concentrations d'acide domoïque dans les mollusques et des abondances de Pseudo-nitzschia spp. dans le Saint-Laurent de 1998 à 2000. Rapp. tech. can. sci. halieut. aquat., 2375, 25 p .

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The presence of domoic acid (the toxin responsilbe for Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning - ASP) in shellfish has been monitored in the estuary and the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence since 1997 by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The results indicate a spatial and temporal evolution of domoic acid contamination between 1998 and 2000. Trace amounts of this toxin were first detected in the gonads of sea scallops from fishing areas offshore of the Iles-de-la-Madeleine in the summer of 1998. In 1999, the concentration of domoic acid in the digestive glands of sea scallops from the same area reached 585 ug g -1, whereas the adductor muscles were not contaminated. At the same time, concentrations of domoic acid close to 25 ug g -1 digestive gland were measured in sea scallops from the Havre-aux-Maisons lagoon while trace amounts were measured for the first time in soft-shell clams collected on the Lower North Shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In 2000, the digestive glands of sea scallops from the Iles-de-la-Madeleine remained toxic and trace amounts of domoic acid were measured in shellfish all along the North Shore, from Tadoussac to Havre-Saint-Pierre. In addition to the CFIA data, the Harmful Algae Monitoring Program of the Maurice Lamontagne Institute (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) revealed the presence of two potentially domoic-acid-producing diatoms in the St. Lawrence: Pseudo-nitzschia seriata and Pseudo-nitzschi delicatissima. Analysis of data showed a link between domoic acid in some shellfish from the Iles-de-la-Madeleine and North Shore and the presence of Pseudo-nitzschia seriata. Dense blooms of P. delicatissima (with no P. seriata) did not cause toxicity. Laboratory analyses performed on a P. seriata strain isolated from the St. Lawrence estuary during a toxic event showed the ability of P. seriata to produce domoic acid whereas all attempts made with P. delicatissima from other regions of eastern Canada have so far been negative. These new results show that P. seriata blooms in the St. Lawrence and the resulting shellfish toxicity due to domoic acid represent a potential risk that needs to be considered in the future.

LEVASSEUR, M., L. BÉRARD-THERRIAULT, E. BONNEAU, S. ROY, 1998. Distribution of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium ostenfeldii in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada. Pages 54-57 in B. Reguera, J. Blanco, M.L. Fernandez & T. Wyatt (ed.). Harmful algae. Xunta de Galacia and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO .

BLASCO, D., M. LEVASSEUR, R. GÉLINAS, R. LAROCQUE, A.D. CEMBELLA, B. HUPPERTZ, E. BONNEAU, 1998. Monitorage du phytoplancton toxique et des toxines de type IPM dans les mollusques du Saint-Laurent : 1989 à 1994. Rapp. stat. can. hydrogr. sci. océan., 151, 117 p .

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The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has conducted monitoring programs for paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) and harmful algae in the St. Lawrence since 1984 and 1989, respectively. Harmful algae are sampled weekly at 11 coastal stations from April to November while shellfish are collected at approximately 85 stations from March to November. The most important harmful algae enumerated are Alexandrium tamarense (= Gonyaulax tamarensis), A. ostenfeldii, Dinophysis acuminata, D. norvegica, and Phalacroma rotundatum. The main shellfish species collected are blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) and soft-shelled clams (Mya arenaria). This report presents a synthesis of the data collected between 1984 and 1994 during these monitoring programs. Shellfish generally become toxic)<80 µg STX eq/100 g meat) as soon as the abundance of Alexandrium spp. (A. tamarense + A. ostenfeldii) reaches 1 000 cells L-1. As previously observed in other regions, mussels are generally 5 times more toxic than soft-shelled clams at the same location. Maximum Alexandrium spp. concentrations and PSP toxins in mussels and soft-shelled clams were measured in the upper North Shore, lower St. Lawrence-north Gaspésie, and southeast Gaspésie regions. Very low concentrations of Alexandrium spp. were measured in the lower North Shore and Magdalen Islands regions, where shellfish toxicity has always been below the critical limit of 80 µg STX ea/100 g meat. Alexandrium spp. was also found in low numbers in the southwest Gaspésie region, although mussel toxicité reached values higher than 80 µg STX eq/100 g meat on a few occasions between 1989 adn 1994. The mid-North Shore region is characterized by a gradual east-west increase in Alexandrium spp. abundance and shellfish toxicity. Shellfish collected in the western part of this region often exibit toxicity values higher than 80 µg STX eq/100 g meat. No statistically significant interannual variations in Alexandrium spp. abundance was observed between 1989 and 1994 at our sampling stations. However, we did observed significant interannual variations in mussel toxicity between 1984 and 1994, with minimum and maximum toxicity being recorded in 1987-88 and 1991, respectively.

CASTONGUAY, M., M. LEVASSEUR, J.-L. BEAULIEU, F. GRÉGOIRE, S. MICHAUD, E. BONNEAU, S.S. BATES, 1997. Accumulation of PSP toxins in Atlantic mackerel : seasonal and ontogenic variations. J. Fish Biol., 50: 1203-1213 .

BEAULIEU, J.-L., M. CASTONGUAY, M. LEVASSEUR, F. GRÉGOIRE, S. MICHAUD, E. BONNEAU, S.S. BATES, 1996. Rôle des toxines IPM (intoxication paralysante par les mollusques) dans une mortalité de maquereau bleu (Scomber scombrus) en Nouvelle-Écosse en 1993 ; Role of PSP (Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning) toxins in an Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) mortality in Nova Scotia in 1993. Rapp. can. ind. sci. halieut. aquat. ; Can. Ind. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 236, 17 p .

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A mortality of Atlantic mackerel reported in Cape Breton in May 1993 prompted us to determine if paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins could be identified as a potential cause of the kill. Live and dead mackerel collected in nearby traps had similar levels of PSP toxins in their livers. Additional mackerel were sampled from the commercial fishery in the southern and northern Gulf of St. Lawrence from June to October 1993. The total amount of PSP toxin per liver increased gradually with the age and the length of the fish, showing that mackerel bioaccumulate PSP toxins in their livers throughout their life. The quantity of PSP toxins per liver also increased during the summer, indicating that mackerel become comtaminated during their summer stay in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. By storing toxins in the liver, mackerel become potential lethal PSP vectors to their natural predators. However, eating mackerel poses no risk for humans as long as viscera are not consumed.

LEVASSEUR, M., M.D. KELLER, E. BONNEAU, D. D'AMOURS, W.K. BELLOWS, 1994. Oceanographic basis of a DMS-related Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) fishery problem : blackberry feed. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 51: 881-889 .