Fish Flesh And Fresh Produce As Sources Of Microcystin Exposure To Humans

Guidance for Regulators On Fish And Produce During Algal Bloom Season

Principal Investigator

Stuart Ludsin, Ohio State University


A team of Ohio State researchers is helping to determine whether certain foods like fish and irrigated produce are safe to eat during Lake Erie’s harmful algal bloom season.

Many bloom-forming algae contain toxins known to be harmful to humans, if ingested. These toxins may accumulate in fish residing in a bloom or in produce irrigated with contaminated water. But until now, regulators have no solid scientific data to be able to guide citizens about eating fish or produce affected by algal blooms.

A multi-college research team led by Stuart Ludsin, an aquatic ecologist in the college of Arts and Sciences, is trying to figure out how much of the algal toxin microcystin is detectable in the flesh of fish like walleye and yellow perch from Lake Erie that were exposed to harmful algal blooms. They are also looking at whether the same toxin can be found in fresh produce that was irrigated with bloom-infected water.

The End Result

A better understanding of how algal blooms affect fresh food that will help regulatory agencies develop guidelines for eating fish or produce irrigated with lake water during an algal bloom.

Full Project Information

Read about the project at the Ohio Sea Grant website.