You & Your Pets


Although all algal blooms are not toxic, it is important to take precautions.

What are the symptoms and health effects after coming into contact with a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB)? (Will be linked to Sea Grant once page is completed)
  • Direct contact with toxins can causes rashes, issues with the liver, digestive, or neurological systems
What precautions should I take when toxins are present? (Will be linked to Sea Grant once page is completed)
  • Stay out of the water.
  • Do not let your children or pets play in wet sand by HAB debris on the shore.
  • If you do swim, wash with soap and water as soon as possible.
  • Never swallow the water.
Can I eat fish or shellfish from waters closed to fishing? (Will be linked to Sea Grant once page is completed)
  • You should not eat seafood harvested from waters closed to fishing.  Toxins produced by HABs cannot be eliminated through cooking or freezing.  After eating fish or shellfish contaminated with toxins, you could experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, pneumonia, vomiting, fever, numbness, and the possibility of death.
  • The Department of Marine Resources (DMR) is responsible for testing seafood and closing and opening waters to fishing to protect consumers.
Can I eat fish or shellfish at restaurants?  (Will be linked to Sea Grant once page is completed)
  • Seafood sold at markets and in restaurants is safe to eat during a HAB event because seafood must be harvested from waters open to fishing in order to be sold.
Why is it important to keep my pet out of the water?
  • Canine deaths have been reported after coming into contact with toxic algae.
  • HABs can cause your pet to have the following symptoms 15 minutes to several days after exposure:
    • Diarrhea or vomiting
    • Weakness or staggering
    • Drooling, difficulty breathing, or convulsions
    • or the possibility of death
What should I do if my pets gets in the water?
  • Rinse your pet off immediately.  Wear gloves to protect yourself and give your dog a thorough rinse in clean, fresh water.
  • Take your pet to the vet immediately if they suffer from the symptoms posted above.