Fishery managers and scientists say the plankton that produces domoic acid is still present but has apparently stopped producing the harmful marine toxin that shut down Dungeness crab and razor clam fisheries in Washington this spring.

Weekly samples and plankton monitoring work in early July show this particular plankton population has “dropped to background levels,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“We might be getting a little break here on the coast, but I wouldn’t say it’s gone away,” said Anthony Odell, with the University of Washington. Odell is the coastal sampling coordinator with the Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom (ORHAB) partnership and research analyst lead for ORHAB and the Forest Sciences Olympic Natural Resources Center.

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