Domoic acid (DA) the toxin responsible for amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) has proven problematic for king scallop Pecten maximus fisheries and aquaculture in Ireland. Toxin concentration in hepatopancreas of individual scallops and composite samples of gonad and adductor muscle of scallops suspended from a submerged longline, 2 m beneath the water surface and on a seabed site, 12–15 m beneath the suspended scallops were monitored from February 2003 to February 2004 at an aquaculture site in Clew Bay, Ireland. DA concentration in hepatopancreas of scallops from the seabed and longline peaked in April 2003, individual concentrations reaching 1037.1 μg·g−1 and 1212.6 μg·g−1 respectively. No statistically significant differences were exhibited between DA concentration in hepatopancreas of seabed and longline scallops except on 1 of the 10 sampling occasions. Slow depuration of DA toxin from hepatopancreas occurred from April 2003 to June 2003 and the concentration remained relatively stable from June 2003 to Feb 2004. Interpretation of DA concentrations in gonad were complicated by the lower concentrations recorded and the variable size of the gonad caused by the reproductive cycle over the 12-month study duration. DA concentrations in adductor muscle were below the limit of detection throughout the investigation. In summary DA concentration between scallops held in suspension or maintained on the seabed exhibited minor difference, and routine monitoring samples could be collected annually and held in suspended culture systems rather than using more expensive diver collection for sample procurement.
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