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Archive for seafood safety

11/7/17

by Tiffany Woods

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded scientists at Oregon State University two aquaculture grants that aim to make oysters safer to eat and help hatcheries feed certain marine fish more efficiently.

Tongs pulling an oyster out of a water tank

Oysters filter water in a depuration tank, thus expelling potential contaminants from their tissues. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum)

The first project, funded at $150,000, aims to reduce bacteria known as Vibrio parahaemolyticus in oysters without altering their texture and consistency. Researchers plan to add naturally occurring marine probiotics, which are live or freeze-dried microbial supplements, to the seawater in depuration tanks. Depuration tanks are where oysters are sometimes held to flush out contaminants that may be in their tissues. Researchers have already isolated various marine probiotics that inhibit the growth of pathogens.

The researchers also aim to develop a dipstick containing antibodies to quickly screen adult oysters for V. parahaemolyticus. The idea is that people would not need special training or equipment to use this diagnostic tool.

Oysters

Researchers aim to use marine probiotics to decrease bacteria in oysters. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum)

The leader of this two-year project is Shelby Walker, the director of Oregon Sea Grant, although the actual research will be conducted by the lab of Claudia Hase, a professor with OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Partners include mAbDx, an immunodiagnostics company in Eugene, Ore.; and Reed Mariculture near San Francisco.

The other grant, worth $629,000, aims to improve the nutritional value of live prey fed to California halibut, California yellowtail and southern flounder. When they’re still in their larval stage, farmed saltwater fish are typically fed tiny rotifers and brine shrimp. However, these organisms are less nutritious than copepods, which are the natural prey of many marine fish in the wild. Given this, the researchers plan to feed rotifers and brine shrimp vitamin C and taurine, an amino acid. To make sure these nutrients don’t dissolve in the seawater, the researchers will encapsulate them in bubble-like liposomes, which can have impermeable membranes.

Oregon State University’s Chris Langdon received a grant to make prey that are fed to certain farmed fish more nutritious. (Photo by Stephen Ward)

The researchers plan to:

  • determine the optimal concentrations that should be used for taurine and vitamin C,
  • evaluate how these nutrients affect the growth, survival and stress resistance of the fish,
  • develop methods to produce the liposomes on a larger scale instead of just at the laboratory level,
  • study how long-term storage affects how the liposomes retain the nutrients, and
  • determine how much it would cost to produce and store liposomes and how many liposomes would be needed to feed a certain amount of prey.

Walker will lead the three-year project, but the research will be conducted by the lab of Chris Langdon, a professor with OSU’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, and well as by staff at the subcontracted Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute in San Diego. Partners include the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Reed Mariculture. Bill Hanshumaker, a marine educator with Oregon Sea Grant Extension, will be involved with outreach activities.

Oregon Sea Grant will administer the funding for both projects. They are part of 32 grants totaling $9.3 million awarded by NOAA last week to further develop the nation’s marine aquaculture industry.

“This country, with its abundant coastline, should not have to import billions of pounds of seafood each year,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These grants will promote aquaculture projects that will help us reduce our trade deficit in this key industry.”

All projects include public-private partnerships and will be led by university-based Sea Grant programs.

“Industry is working alongside researchers on each of these projects, which will help expand businesses, create new jobs and provide economic benefits to coastal communities,” said Jonathan Pennock, the director of NOAA Sea Grant.

NOAA received 126 proposals requesting about $58 million in federal funds.

under: aquaculture, environment, fisheries, grants, marine animals, marine science, National Sea Grant Program, news, NOAA, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, people, research, seafood, seafood safety, shellfish, technology
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‘State of the Coast’ conference set for Oct. 28 in Florence

Posted by: | October 13, 2017 Comments Off on ‘State of the Coast’ conference set for Oct. 28 in Florence |

10-13-17

By Tiffany Woods

Registration has opened for Oregon Sea Grant’s annual State of the Coast conference, which will be held Oct. 28 in Florence.

Shelby Walker addresses the audience at Oregon Sea Grant’s State of the Coast Conference at Gleneden Beach in 2016. She is the director of Oregon Sea Grant. (Photo by Charles Robinson)

Billed as Oregon’s coastal conference for everyone, the event aims to bring together the public, scientists, fishermen, resource managers, teachers, students and conservationists. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn, network and talk about the current status and future of Oregon’s marine environment.

The keynote speaker will be Rick Spinrad, the chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 2014 to January 2017. He was also the vice president of research at Oregon State University from 2010 to 2014.

Under this year’s theme of “innovation,” presentations and hands-on activities will include the following topics:

  • invasive European green crabs
  • pyrosomes, the jelly-like, tube-shaped organisms that were seen off the Oregon coast in unusually large numbers this year
  • coastal governance and coastal-related legislation
  • the science behind fresh and frozen seafood
  • innovations in observing marine mammals
  • marine gear and technology
  • engaging communities in art
  • tracking local and global seafood across the supply chain
  • forecasting ocean conditions for recreation, profit and safety
  • managing estuaries for everyone

Marie Kowalski, a former master’s student at Oregon State University, talks about her research on mitigating microplastics at Oregon Sea Grant’s State of the Coast Conference in Coos Bay in 2015. (Photo by Anne Farrell-Matthews)

Additionally, students from various universities in Oregon will talk about their coastal research. Also, a coastal chef will demonstrate how to prepare various types of seafood.

Registration in advance is recommended as space is limited. Cost is $35 for the public and $25 for students. It includes refreshments, lunch and a raffle ticket. The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes with a reception that starts at 4 p.m. For more information and to register, visit www.stateofthecoast.com. The event will take place at the Florence Events Center at 715 Quince St.

under: beach safety, citizen science, ecology, environment, events, fisheries, fishermen, invasive species, lectures, marine animals, marine education, marine mammals, marine science, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, people, science education, seafood, Seafood preparation, seafood safety, waterfronts
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Learn to safely can fresh-caught tuna

Posted by: | August 4, 2014 Comments Off on Learn to safely can fresh-caught tuna |

Fresh-caught tunaNEWPORT – Tuna are abundant and available on the Oregon coast at the best prices of the year – so now’s a great time to learn how to safely can your own tuna at home.

Sea Grant Extension’s seafood product development specialist Mark Whitham and Ruby Moon, fishery Extension agent, will lead a workshop in home-canning tuna on Friday, Sept. 12 at Newport’s First Presbyterian Church, 227 NE 12th Street, from 9 am to 3 pm.

Participants will learn to safely and successfully can tuna, and the skills to do it all at home. Participants will also leave with the jars of tuna they can during the workshop.

Registration is $40 per person and space is limited; register by Sept. 1 with the Lincoln County Extension Office, 29 SE 2nd Street, Newport or by calling 541-574-6534.

Learn more:

under: courses, classes and workshops, events, seafood, Seafood preparation, seafood safety

Ongoing study finds more albacore with traces of Fukushima radiation

Posted by: | April 30, 2014 Comments Off on Ongoing study finds more albacore with traces of Fukushima radiation |

Jason Phillips bleeds an albacoreAlbacore tuna caught off the Oregon shore after the Fukushima Daiichi power station in Japan was destroyed in a 2011 earthquake had slightly elevated levels of radioactivity but the increase has been minute, according to a newly published study.

In fact, you would have to consume more than 700,000 pounds of the fish with the highest radioactive level – just to match the amount of radiation the average person is annually exposed to in everyday life through cosmic rays, the air, the ground, X-rays and other sources, the authors say.

Results of the study are being published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

“You can’t say there is absolutely zero risk because any radiation is assumed to carry at least some small risk,” said Delvan Neville, a graduate research assistant in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics at Oregon State University and lead author on the study. “But these trace levels are too small to be a realistic concern.

“A year of eating albacore with these cesium traces is about the same dose of radiation as you get from spending 23 seconds in a stuffy basement from radon gas, or sleeping next to your spouse for 40 nights from the natural potassium-40 in their body,” he added. “It’s just not much at all.”

 

Learn more:

under: environment, fisheries, news, research, seafood safety

Despite speculation, scientists see no Fukushima radiation risk in albacore

Posted by: | January 16, 2014 Comments Off on Despite speculation, scientists see no Fukushima radiation risk in albacore |

Japan’s nuclear disaster released hundreds of millions of gallons of radioactive water in 2011, sparking rampant speculation that a contaminated plume would reach the waters of North America’s West Coast.

Three years later, such speculation is alive and well on the Internet. But scientists in Oregon and California have collected samples of tuna, a fish known to migrate back and forth across the Pacific, analyzed them for radioactive isotopes, Cesium-134 in particular, from Fukushima – and found levels so low they are barely detectable.

Delvan Neville labels albacore samplesDelvan Neville, a PhD candidate in Radiation Health Physics at Oregon State University, has tested dozens of samples of albacore tuna for radioactivity. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s intervention levels for cesium 134 and cesium 137 is 1200 becquerels per kilogram. The highest levels he’s seen in his albacore, of both cesium 134 and cesium 137 combined, is 1 becquerel per kilogram – a level so low that his device couldn’t pick it up until he concentrated the samples.

“That’s more than 1,000 times lower than the point where the FDA would even think about whether they need to let people eat that food still,” he said.

Neville, along with OSU fisheries graduate Jason Phillips, is working with Dr. Lorenzo Cianelli, a marine biologist with OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences , to learn more about the migration patterns of Pacific albacore. Their initial work was funded in part by Oregon Sea Grant and NOAA.

It was only the timing of their research – coinciding with the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and subsequent nuclear disaster – that led the scientists to consider radiation as a possible marker for learning which waters fish caught off the US Pacific coast might have traveled.

Learn more

 

 

under: coastal hazards, earthquake, environment, fisheries, marine science, research, seafood, seafood safety, tsunami

Summer issue of Confluence magazine now online

Posted by: | July 10, 2013 Comments Off on Summer issue of Confluence magazine now online |

The summer 2013 issue of Oregon Sea Grant’s magazine, Confluence, is now online at http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/confluenceconfluence-2-1-cover

Articles in this issue, which focuses on aquaculture in Oregon, include “The Whiskey Creek Shellfish Acid Tests,” “Priced out of our own seafood,” and “The traveling ornamental defender.”

under: aquaculture, Confluence, ecology, economics, engineering, environment, Extension, fisheries, marine animals, marine education, marine science, ocean acidification, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, ornamental fish, outreach and engagement, people, publications, research, science education, seafood, seafood safety, shellfish, sustainability

Traces of Fukushima radiation found in Pacific albacore

Posted by: | October 24, 2012 Comments Off on Traces of Fukushima radiation found in Pacific albacore |

Researcher Delvan Neville labels containers of albacore tuna samplesCORVALLIS, Ore. – Samples of albacore tuna caught off the West Coast of the United States show minute traces of radiation that can be traced to the Fukushima reactor disaster, according to an interdisciplinary team of scientists from Oregon State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The radiation levels in fish analyzed to date are far below anything that would pose a risk to humans who consume the fish, the research team emphasized. The findings are preliminary; additional fish remain to be tested.

But the findings could reveal new information about where Pacific albacore travel during their migratory lives – and how what happens in one part of the ocean can affect the food web thousands of miles away.

The team has collected and tested fish caught off the U.S. West Coast both before and after the devastating March 2011 Japanese tsunami and subsequent release of radioactive material into the ocean by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor.

“We’re still processing new fish, but so far the radiation we’re detecting is far below the level of   concern for human safety,” said Delvan Neville, a graduate researcher with OSU’s Radiation Health Physics program and a co-investigator on the project.

People are constantly exposed to radiation from the natural environment, Neville pointed out. “To increase their normal annual dosage of radiation by just 1 percent, a person would have to eat more than 4,000 pounds of the highest (radiation) level albacore we’ve seen.”

Neville will present the team’s preliminary findings on Oct. 27 at the Heceta Head Coastal Conference in Florence. Richard Brodeur, the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center biologist who serves as lead investigator on the project, reported the same findings to the recent annual meeting of  PICES, the North Pacific Marine Science Organization, in Japan. The researchers also plan scientific journal articles.

Read the complete story from OSU News & Research Information

under: fisheries, marine science, news, NOAA, seafood safety

Sea Grant’s Mark Whitham on home-canning albacore tuna

Posted by: | October 3, 2012 Comments Off on Sea Grant’s Mark Whitham on home-canning albacore tuna |

Mark Whitham, Oregon Sea Grant’s Extension seafood product development specialist, was featured recently on Portland TV station KATU’s AM Northwest program‘s Edible Portland feature in this video about how to home can albacore tuna, one of the Pacific Northwest’s tastiest, most healthful and sustainably harvested fish:

Learn more:

under: seafood, Seafood preparation, seafood safety

Astoria becomes world surimi capital

Posted by: | May 16, 2012 Comments Off on Astoria becomes world surimi capital |

Jae ParkEver wondered about the crab-flavored fish protein in your seafood sandwich, “crab” salad or California sushi roll?

It’s surimi, a fish protein paste made into various shellfish-flavored products.

Earlier this month, Oregon State University’s Seafood Lab on Marine Drive hosted the 20th annual Surimi School, a gathering of global industry representatives and researchers that made Astoria for one week the epicenter of expertise on the globally popular, gelatinous fish protein you’ve likely had in one form or another.

About 40 students from surimi plants, surimi seafood (finished product) plants and others from accessory industries attended lectures and took part in surimi labs.

Jae Park, an OSU professor seen as the pre-eminent expert on surimi, founded the OSU Surimi Technology School in 1993 in Astoria. He started similar institutes in Bangkok in 1996 and in Paris in 1999.

For most of the school’s first decade, Oregon Sea Grant invested in the surimi program’s development and success with grants to support Park’s research into ways to improve the texture of surimi, and with direct contributions to the surimi school. A number of Park’s research publications were published by Sea Grant as well.

“The academic and industry languages are different,” said Park. “With that mentality, I found there was a great need to build industry-academia partnerships.”

His answer has been to bring in academic and industry experts from around the world to Astoria every May for the last 20 years, sharing knowledge between the two groups and enhancing everyone’s understanding of the ever-changing surimi industry.

Learn more

under: courses, classes and workshops, fisheries, research, seafood, seafood safety

Sea Grant’s Jeff Feldner on seafood and Fukushima radiation

Posted by: | June 15, 2011 Comments Off on Sea Grant’s Jeff Feldner on seafood and Fukushima radiation |

Oregon Sea Grant Extension fisheries specialist Jeff Felder is interviewed by Russia’s RIANOVOSTI news about US concerns for seafood safety in the aftermath of the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear reactors. Jeff’s assessment: While it’s likely detectable increases in seafood radiation levels will eventually show up in Pacific Northwest waters, it’s too early to tell how soon it will happen or how high the levels will be. The research he’s seen suggests the radition is unlikely to reach levels dangerous to consumers.

Watch the interview:

under: earthquake, Extension, fisheries, Oregon Sea Grant, people, seafood, seafood safety, tsunami, videos

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